Ipswich/Woodbridge: Inquest reopens into care plan hospital death

Marion Bryce Smith died at Ipswich Hospital

Marion Bryce Smith died at Ipswich Hospital

An inquest into the death of a 93-year-old Suffolk woman placed on the controversial end of life Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is set to resume today.

The hearing into Marion Bryce-Smith’s death at Ipswich Hospital was adjourned in January, when the coroner requested further medical briefing.

Mrs Bryce-Smith was admitted in January 2011, following a fall at her home in The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge.

She suffered two further falls while in hospital - the second resulting in an inoperable bleed to her brain.

Ashton KCJ, lawyers for Mrs Bryce-Smith’s family, said that three days later she was placed on the LCP - which involves withholding food and drink in the expectation that a patient will die - but lived for another 59 days, until March 17.

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The inquest will be held at the IP-City Centre in Bath Street, Ipswich, and is expected to last for two days.

In July, the Department of Health recommended that the LCP be phased out and replaced by an individual end of life care plan, following an independent review led by Baroness Julia Neuberger. The review was commissioned by care and support minister Norman Lamb following concerns arising from reports that patients were wrongly being denied nutrition and hydration.

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Baroness Neuberger and her panel recommend that use of the LPC should be phased out within a year and replaced by a personalised end of life care plan, backed up by good practice guidance specific to disease groups.

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