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Having conversations to understand and record a person’s wishes using the ReSPECT process

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

Watch this webinar from the RCGP, which focuses on crucial conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Advanced Care Planning, death and dying.

Thinking ahead with anticipatory care planning and documenting discussions using the ReSPECT process


The ReSPECT process creates a personalised recommendation for someone’s clinical care in emergency situations where they are not able to make decisions or express their wishes.

Trained staff guide selected patients through an extended conversation, often taking place over several contacts to allow families and carers to be involved. This results in a completed ReSPECT form that details the person’s wishes for their care, along with appropriate clinical recommendations, which can include a “Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” (DNACPR), if that decision is made.

ReSPECT is however about much wider care preferences and treatment ceilings and is equally applicable to patients for whom resuscitation is appropriate.

Access our training and implementation resources.

Find out more about ReSPECT during COVID-19 from the Resuscitation Council. Including frequently asked questions on COVID-19 and ReSPECT.

Here is guidance from the Infection Prevention Society and British Association of Critical Care Nurses, for facilitating compassionate care for patients dying with COVID-19.

Helping break unwelcome news

Health Education England has published a set of materials and films which aim to support staff through difficult conversations arising from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The framework includes posters and films based on the evidence base from Real Talk and then filmed with willing volunteers.

Start here for an introduction to the framework.

You can watch the films here:

  1. The framework
  2. Community
  3. Breaking bad news
  4. Ceilings of treatment

Then access the resources here:

Resources specifically for care providers looking after people with learning disabilities:

Primary care during COVID-19

Read more about primary care during COVID-19, and review our free resources and webinars.

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Learning Disabilities during COVID-19

If you work in a care home or organisation for people with Learning Disabilities review our free resources and training opportunities.

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