ReSPECT…The Launch of a new summery plan that put the person effected at the center of their care.

Yesterday, I was invited in my capacity as a Compassionate companion/Soul Midwife to attend and take part in the launch of a new process ReSPECT, that is to be rolled out across Norfolk and Waveney, to replace the DNR-CPR form.


“The ReSPECT process is all about thinking ahead with patients about realistic care options in a truly person-centred way. Ultimately the process aims to help people understand the care and treatment options that may be available to them in a medical emergency and enables them to make health professionals aware of their preferences”
Dr Juliet Spiller, Co-Chair of the ReSPECT Working Group & Consultant in Palliative care at Marie Curie Hospices, Edinburgh

With insightful and moving talks from speakers The Right Honourable Patrica Hewitt  and Kate Masters and Palliative care clinicians, it was clear that the recognition for medical services involved in End Of Life Care “to do better, in getting it right” was central to the core ideals of this new process. The level of humility was humbling, and the daring prospect of consultants and clinical leads to examine their processes that repeatedly failed their patients was inspiring. From this intensive examination of failure and the willingness “to do better, in getting it right” the ReSPECT summery plan for emergency care and treatment has the potential for reducing negative experiences for those and their families facing End Of Life Care .

Take a look at the form by clicking the link below. 

What is ReSPECT?

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.

This in itself, is a change to the medical paradigm. It replaces the knowledge of the Consultant or clinician, who in a medical context is above all, with that of the person who is effected. Their wishes and desires come before the medical model that has been to keep treating even when there is no more to be done, (a view that can prove irrelevant in a palliative care context). If the medical profession can get clearer about where their role ends, then maybe the conversation about what can come in at that point will be more positive and effective experience for the patient and their families? The reality is there is much more that can be done, when there is no more that can be done.

This process is to be ‘a one stop shop and guide’ for all health care professionals that one maybe involved with, (ambulance clinicians, out of hours doctors, care home and hospital staff, GP’s and so on) so that all necessary information is kept in one place to avoid multiple repetitions and explanations.

It has to start with an honest conversation . This can take time, and needs time. With compassionate care and attention in ‘listening’  to the needs of those affected. The act of being herd and believed can be an empowering and effective experience.

Support and trust are key to keeping fear and anxiety under control and this process could be a positive start to developing a more person centered, personalised experience for those in acute health situations. Treating each person as an individual rather than a collection of symptoms, is a major step towards a more holistic and dignified approach to End Of Life Care.

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