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ReSPECT for patients, parents, partners and families

Having conversations to understand and record a person’s wishes has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read this PDF document from the Resuscitation Council clarifying what the ReSPECT Process can do to help facilitate conversation.

ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment. It is about creating a personalised recommendation for someone’s clinical care in emergency situations where they are not able to make decisions or express their wishes.

We are implementing the ReSPECT process across the West of England to encourage people to have conversations about advance care planning. The aim is that everyone should receive the best possible treatment for their individual situation.

The process consists of the person in question having conversations with trained healthcare professionals. These conversations often take place over several meetings to allow families and carers to be involved. This results in a completed ReSPECT form that details the types of care and treatment they would or would not want to be considered for in an emergency.

ReSPECT will also record a Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decision if one has been made. However, ReSPECT is about much wider care preferences and is equally applicable to patients for whom resuscitation is appropriate.

ReSPECT can be used for any age (with appropriate parental involvement for children and young people). However, in the first instance in the West of England our focus is on adult patients. Information on ReSPECT for young people and parents is available on the ReSPECT process website.

In this video Catherine Baldock, Clinical Lead for ReSPECT at the Resuscitation Council, explains:

  • What the ReSPECT process is
  • Who it is for
  • How to structure the conversation

Information in the media

Death and dying are taboo subjects, and it can be hard to start a conversation.

On BBC Radio 4 Joan Bakewell and her panel discuss death and dying on the programme We Need to Talk About Death. They explore the choices open to us and confronting the questions we fear the most. The BBC episode named My Dying Wishes in series 3 discussed the ReSPECT process (from 43 minutes).

Other episodes from the BBC’s We Need to Talk About Death are available to listen and download.

Recommended books

On Twitter

Peer Support workers @KnightonStar & @MyNamesNaomi created this poem and illustration for #ReSPECTworcestershire

 ReSPECT poem

Return to our main ReSPECT webpages here. 


Implementing ReSPECT as a healthcare professional

Training for staff who will need to recognise the ReSPECT form, act on recommendations and be initiating or carrying out conversations with patients and their families about treatment escalation, DNACPR, and the ReSPECT process.

Read more