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We’re introducing the ReSPECT process for our patient care

Photo of a care professional comforting a patient at the bedside

As health service providers it is important to us that the people we serve are involved in decisions around their care.

Unfortunately, there are times when people do not have the capacity to take decisions or express choices about their care. This is why it is important to record peoples’ preferences ahead of these times, so that health and care teams can honour their wishes.

ReSPECT is a programme that aims to help everyone get the care they want, where they want it, even in the event that they are unable to communicate.

ReSPECT stands for 'Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment.' 

It’s a two-way discussion that takes place between the person and the healthcare professional to enable their current and future state of health to be discussed and their priorities of care to be voiced. The patient’s wishes and recommendations for their care in emergency situations are documented on a ReSPECT form by the healthcare professional.  

Why is now the right time to implement ReSPECT?

ReSPECT recommendations are created through conversations between a person, their families, and their health and care professionals.  This helps patients express what matters to them and what is realistic in terms of their care and treatment, building on the excellent advance care planning that has been happening for years but standardising it. 

A lot of lessons have been learned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular around treatment escalation plans in emergency situations, and we can put what we have learned into practice to improve the situation for all future patients and their families. 

Who can benefit from a ReSPECT form?


Their preferences on their medical treatment are recorded, as are other matters important to them. These allow health and care staff to make the right decisions on the most appropriate form and place of treatment and care, in line with the patient’s wishes. 

Healthcare professionals (HCPs)

ReSPECT can be used by all HCPs: Healthcare staff learn valuable information about the patient from the ReSPECT form, shortening the amount of time needed to provide the right treatment. It has been shown that GPs who have already adopted it have noticed that their patients receive better care in their preferred place, often closer to home. As a result, the number of patients who go to hospital emergency departments is reduced..

Jo Greengrass, Deputy Director of Nursing, Quality and Safety for East Berkshire CCGs, said: 

“The Frimley Collaborative of NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups is implementing the national ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) programme across the system, as the ReSPECT process creates personalised recommendations for clinical care in emergencies when patients are not able to make decisions or express their wishes. This plan will complement patient’s Advance Care Plan (ACP) and includes information about Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR). “    

The ReSPECT process

We have agreed to implement and embed the ReSPECT process. This is part of the wider roll-out of the programme across the whole of the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System (ICS) including Health and Social Care partners and patient-focused organisations across East Berkshire, Surrey Heath and North East Hampshire and Farnham.

Regular communications will be shared across the ICS, advising of our plans and training to ensure that the full breadth of knowledge is in place before the launch (July 2021) so that the ReSPECT process can be followed and patients’ wishes are noted appropriately. Training will be available online via the Frimley Health and Care ICS website from May 2021. 

Find out more

You can find out more about ReSPECT by visiting the website, or my contacting ReSPECT Project Manager Abdul Azad.

Visit the ReSPECT website 

Abdul Azad, ReSPECT Project Manager

Email abdul.azad@thameshospice.org.uk

Call 01753 848965