Pensioner placed on Liverpool Care Pathway WITHOUT family’s permission dies after spending eight days without food or water
- Susan Phillips said father Robert Goold, 69, was left to slowly deteriorate
- She claimed doctors said there was no record in his notes about LCP
- He died without being able to say goodbye to his wife of 51 years
- Addenbrooke’s Hospital said it will investigate the family’s claims
A grieving daughter has lodged a complaint against a hospital which left her father to die on a ‘barbaric’ end of life pathway for eight days without her permission.
Susan Phillips said her 69-year-old father Robert Goold was left to slowly deteriorate for more than a week on the controversial Liverpool Care Pathway.
The pensioner, who had dementia, got weaker and weaker as doctors took food, water and oxygen away from him but survived longer than they expected.
Robert Goold hours before the fall which led to a fatal hospital stay (left) and (right) on the Liverpool Care Pathway at Addenbrooke’s with, it is claimed, no food, water or oxygen
Mrs Phillips claims that after six days on the pathway a nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, even offered to reverse the programme but it was too late.
Mr Goold died the following day at 5.40am, on February 25, without being able to say goodbye to his wife of 51 years because she was too traumatised.
Mrs Phillips, 50, claims doctors and nurses could not explain to her why her father had been put on the LCP because nothing had been recorded in his notes.
Addenbrooke’s said they will investigate the family’s claims after an inquest has been held.
Devastated Mrs Phillips, who is a nurse, said: ‘My dad was so stressed that we were led to believe death was imminent and so we just tried to calm him down.
‘You wouldn’t treat a dog the way my poor dad was treated. We are all devastated, the best interests of the patient was not starving him to death.
Mrs Phillips claims that after six days on the pathway a nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, (pictured) even offered to reverse the programme but it was too late
Robert Goold was in Addenbrooke’s for two weeks before he was put on the LCP on February 17
‘My mum didn’t even get to say good, bye to her husband of 51 years because she was too traumatised.’
The pensioner then suffered a bleed on the brain and was transferred to the neurosciences critical care unit Addenbrooke’s Hospital on February 4.
He was in Addenbrooke’s for two weeks before he was put on the LCP on February 17.
His family were told his prognosis was not good and medics wanted to remove his ventilator to see how he responded.
A PATHWAY TO EUTHANASIA? THE CONTROVERSY AROUND LCP
In December it was revealed up to 60,000 patients die on the Liverpool Care Pathway each year without giving their consent.
A third of families are also kept in the dark when doctors withdraw lifesaving treatment from loved ones.
The pathway involves withdrawal of lifesaving treatment, with the sick sedated and usually denied nutrition and fluids. Death typically takes place within 29 hours.
It found many patients were not consulted despite being conscious when doctors decided on their care.
Records from 178 hospitals also show that thousands of people on the pathway are left to die in pain because nurses do not do enough to keep them comfortable while drugs are administered.
An estimated 130,000 patients are put on the pathway and murdered each year. Concerns have been raised that clinical judgments are being skewed by incentives for hospitals to use the pathway.
Health trusts are thought to have been rewarded with an extra £30million for putting more patients on the LCP. Critics say it is a self-fulfilling prophecy because there is no scientific method of predicting when death will come.
Norman Lamb, the care services minister, launched a review in November, saying there had been too many cases of families not being consulted.
Mrs Phillips said the family believed removing his ventilation would give her father the ‘best chance” of survival.
But a day later she went to the hospital to find her father flailing about trying to breathe with ‘sheer terror in his eyes’ and then discovered he had been placed on LCP.
Addenbrooke’s Chief Executive Keith McNeil said: ‘In this case the fact that an issue has been raised will trigger for us a review of the care a patient has had and we will go through each of the issues that have been raised by the family.
‘We will see whether in fact appropriate decisions were made, we will also look at whether the communication of the care to the family was appropriate.’
Doctors can withdraw fluids and drugs from patients or be put on continuous sedation if they are deemed close to death.
But the plan has been criticised by some experts and presented as a cost-cutting way to bring about the premature deaths of elderly patients.
In January parliament was told that a national audit found that one in six of the people placed on the pathway each year have either a primary or secondary diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, or another form of dementia.
Dr Philip Howard, a consultant gastroenterologist, raised concerns about these patients being put on the LCP as they could not have been meaningfully consulted on whether life-saving treatment should be withdrawn.
The inquest into Mr Goold’s death was opened and adjourned by Cambridgeshire coroner David Scott Morris.