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New NHS guidance instructs hospitals not to deny water to the dying

30 July 2015


The Liverpool Care Pathway was withdrawn last year

New guidance says doctors and nurses must provide water to the dying.

The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) has drafted new guidance demanding that patients have access to fluids. The Liverpool Care Pathway which was withdrawn last year saw elderly and other vulnerable patients denied food and fluids, often without their knowledge or consent, or that of their relatives. However, such practices may still be going on, albeit under different names.

Roger Goss from Patient Concern commented saying: “It is shocking that this has to be spelled out to doctors and nurses”. [Telegraph, 29 July] Antonia Tully of the Patients First Network said: “We are still seeing a lack of confidence among relatives about the way in which vulnerable patients are cared for. We are continuing to advise family and friends to maintain constant vigilance to make sure that those they love receive basic care, including food and water.”

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