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CPCRE - End of life pathways

The Care at the End of Life Project team have worked with palliative care clinicians to update the Clinical Guidance for the Dying Patient. An updated version of the Clinical Guidance document is anticipated in early 2018. The original document was a result of the RBWH Project below.


Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) Project

The Centre for Palliative Care Research and Education collaborated on an end of life pathway project with Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital's Dr Carol Douglas. Dr Douglas, Director of Palliative Care, obtained funding to introduce an end of life care pathway based on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP). For further information about the RBWH project contact Dr Carol Douglas - contact details on the palliative care service webpage below.

The RBWH Palliative Care Service webpage (accessible only within Qld Health) has links to the Care of the Dying Clinical Pathway Form, pathway Medication Guidelines, and an educational DVD explaining the pathway. For further information about the pathway or the RBWH Palliative Care Service, phone 07 3646 6138.


Liverpool Care Pathway Review 2013

The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) was extensively reviewed in 2013 after negative publicity in the UK. See the Review link above for further information about the review.

Liverpool Care Pathway core documentation


End of Life Care Pathway for Residential Aged Care Facilities

Brisbane South Palliative Care Collaborative was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) to develop, implement and evaluate an End of Life Care Pathway specifically for use in residential aged care facilities (RACF).

The effectiveness of the Residential Aged Care End of Life Care Pathway (RAC EoLCP) was evaluated against best practice standards as determined by Palliative Care Australia. This comprehensive evaluation (across 299 deaths) has provided some of the first evidence internationally that the use of palliative care pathways improves resident outcomes of care.

Evaluations in Queensland showed that when the RAC EoLCP was implemented in conjunction with a supportive framework, dying residents were significantly less likely to be transferred to hospital, so more able to die in-place in the familiar environment of their RACF with carers who were known to them.

Evaluations also showed improved quality of palliative care provided by RACFs and RACF clinical staff reported that the RAC EoLCP was easy to use and improved their confidence in delivering palliative care.

The RAC EoLCP has been further evaluated nationally in the DoHA funded, University of Queensland/Blue Care Research and Practice Development Centre led, Encouraging Best Practice in Residential Aged Care Project.

A recommendation from this research is that the RAC EoLCP be made available to as many RACFs as practicable.

The RAC EoLCP document is licensed under a Creative Commons licence.  There is no cost associated with downloading or using the RAC EoLCP document however you must agree to the terms of the licence.

To access the licensing page and download the RAC EoLCP document please click here http://metrosouth.health.qld.gov.au/raceolcp The link to the document is about two thirds of the way down the page.

If clicking on this link does not take you to the web page, please copy and paste the link into your internet web browser.

See also the Residential Aged Care Palliative Approach Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to implementing a palliative approach in residential aged care facilities. It includes policies, procedures, education for staff, and resources for friends and relatives of RACF residents.

For further information about this project, contact bspcc@health.qld.gov.au


The Australian Best Care of the Dying (ABCD) Network Project

The ABCD Network Project, with Professor Janet Hardy as lead investigator, was funded by the National Institute of Clinical Studies from 1st January-30th June 2005. The ABCD network, a consortium of Queensland palliative care units, collaborated to further the use of end of life care pathways in Queensland.

The focus of the project was to improve the care of patients dying in hospitals and institutions throughout Australia through a care pathway programme. The concept of care pathways for the dying was developed by a specialist palliative care team in Liverpool (UK) and now forms part of standard management in over one hundred UK hospitals. The Liverpool Care Pathway allows the excellence of care achieved in the hospice environment to be extended to the acute hospital, community and aged care settings.


The primary contact person for the ABCD project is Professor Janet Hardy. Contact details are:

e-mail : janet_hardy@mater.org.au

Last updated: 11 January 2018