11 December 2019
The wishes of patients are being prioritised in a new way for doctors to record how someone wants to be cared for at the end of their life.
SaTH has recently introduced the national ReSPECT process, along with health and care partners across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.
ReSPECT – Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Treatment and Care – is a patient-held form which enables all healthcare professionals to have a structured conversation with a patient and their family about what to do in an emergency.
The purple ReSPECT form captures each patient’s wishes formally, in a way which seeks to balance a patient’s care and comfort against clinical interventions. It replaces the previous ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ (DNAR) protocols, which were only available at SaTH and which experts said were more focused on clinical considerations than patients’ priorities.
Dr Elin Roddy, Clinical Lead for End of Life Care at SaTH, said: “The ReSPECT form stays with the patient wherever they are – acute hospital, home, community hospital, hospice or nursing home – and is an important communication and handover tool for healthcare professionals, as well as an added reassurance to our patients, and their families, that their wishes will be taken into account.
“This is a great step forward for shared decision making with our patients, and we are grateful to everyone for their input and enthusiasm.”
The form is one part of a more general ‘Advance Care Plan’, which looks at a whole range of other considerations patients and relatives might have, such as where they would like to be treated, and even who they might want to be with them.
Elin said: “Conversations about death and dying are never easy, but this new approach means patients can be much clearer about what they want to happen, where, and who should be there.”