‘ReSPECT will record your wishes for your future care’
The new ReSPECT process will go live across Lincolnshire from Monday, February 4.
Adam Brown, Consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Barnabas and United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust, talks about the advantages of the process….
To many, a taboo subject. We rarely talk about it and when we do, it can feel awkward or uncomfortable.
The reality, however, is that it happens to us all. So why shouldn’t we discuss our wishes and make sure they are carried out?
That is what ReSPECT is designed to achieve.
On a daily basis, dozens of people in Lincolnshire require emergency care and treatment, with some needing CardioPulmonaryResuscitation (CPR) treatment.
Many life-sustaining treatments involve risks of causing harm, discomfort and loss of dignity. They could involve the risk of dying in hospital when a patient may have wanted to be at home.
So, what if the patient did not wish to be rushed to hospital and given CPR? Many people choose not to take those risks if the likelihood of benefit from treatment is small.
Do Not Attempt CPR forms are available, but what if other wishes exist and cannot be recorded?
That is where ReSPECT comes in. Standing for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment, it consists of a form which is filled in following conversations between patients and their healthcare staff to determine a personalised plan for potential future emergency care and treatment.
ReSPECT can record preferences and recommendations for emergency situations, whatever stage of life the patient is at. It is designed to allow patients greater influence on what happens to them in their own individual situation. It ensures their wishes are carried out appropriately.
ReSPECT explores that person’s preferences for their care and realistic treatment in the event of a future emergency. It then goes on to make and record agreed clinical recommendations for in a future emergency in which they have lost the capacity to make or express decisions.
ReSPECT is a national process which we are adopting locally. It is already recognised in several areas across England which means the forms will enable professionals such as ambulance crews, doctors, care home staff and hospital staff to make immediate decisions about a person’s emergency care and treatment.
This new initiative will provide more clear guidance from patients than the previous DNACPR orders. It is focusing on patient choices and involvement.
By completing a ReSPECT form, it will provide health and care professionals responding to an emergency with a summary of recommendations from patients to help them to make immediate decisions about that person’s care and treatment.
With that in mind, we have been working closely with colleagues at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group and other stakeholders to implement the ReSPECT process across all healthcare providers in Lincolnshire.
I am delighted to say we are set to go live on Monday, February 4 and patients will be able to discuss their wishes and fill out a form from that date.
We have been training and educating healthcare staff across the county about ReSPECT. This includes how to fill in forms and how to initiate conversations with patients.
There is a real desire to make ReSPECT a success and ensure patients have a greater say in their future emergency care and treatment.
Anyone who would like to know more about ReSPECT can visit www.respectprocess.org.uk or contact a member of their healthcare team.