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ReSPECTing patients' choice over future care is made easier thanks to new form

A new process to support people to get the care they would want in a medical emergency has been introduced across healthcare settings in Worcestershire.

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The Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment, or ReSPECT, is a process that creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.

The ReSPECT process is a new approach to encourage people to have conversations about the future with those important to them and the Healthcare Professionals looking after them, to create an individualised plan to try to ensure that they get the right care and treatment in an anticipated future emergency.

The plan is recorded on a ReSPECT form and includes their personal priorities for care and agreed clinical recommendations about the care and treatment that could help to achieve the outcome that the person would want, and those that would not help, or that they would not want.

The form can be for anyone but will have increasing relevance for people who have complex health needs, people who are at risk of sudden deterioration or cardiac arrest, and people who are likely to be nearing the end of their lives.

Some people will want to record their care and treatment preferences for other reasons.

ReSPECT has been implemented across Worcestershire and clinicians across the county are encouraging those living with long-term health conditions to speak to one of the Health Care Professionals responsible for their care about having a form

Jo Hodgetts, Project Lead for ReSPECT in Worcestershire said, “For many people discussions around future care planning including approaching the end of life can be a sensitive subject, however it is incredibly important to ensure that those caring for you know what you would and wouldn’t want to happen, if you became so unwell you were unable to communicate your wishes. Having a ReSPECT form in place, empowers the public to guide clinicians responding to them in an emergency situation, as they will be better informed about your wishes and agreed appropriate treatments.

We are really lucky in Worcestershire to have had this project solely funded by Macmillan, from legacy monies left by three Worcestershire residents who requested in their wills that this money was spent empowering residents to have more choice over their future care. With this in mind, we are encouraging those living with a long-term health condition to consider having a conversation and a ReSPECT form in place.”