It’s important for people to think about how and where they would like to be cared for if their health were to change and they were unable to tell others what they want to happen.
Consultant Paramedic Dan Smith said: “When necessary, our clinicians will choose care for a patient based on their best interests and taking in to consideration any previously expressed wishes or opinions. Choosing where you want to die, what support you want or who should be there is an incredibly personal decision but sharing those wishes in a plan means that healthcare professionals can make sure the care they provide is what was wanted.”
A Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) form summarises treatments to be considered and those that would not be wanted or would not work for the patient in an emergency. It might include recommendations of when transfer to hospital would be desirable or not as well as whether the patient wishes for CPR to be attempted or not.
These can be completed by anyone but usually by people who have complex health needs or are approaching the end of their life and should be kept readily available at all times. The form is authorised by a healthcare professional but is not legally binding and staff will always use their clinical judgement. It is used as a guide to aid decision making and help them understand the patient’s wishes which will be respected. Contact your GP, relevant healthcare professional or social worker for more information about how to put in place an end of life care plan and find out more online.