Planning care at the end of life

A series of recent news stories have drawn attention to some health service providers seeking to obtain “do not attempt to resuscitate” (DNAR) forms from some groups of patients en masse during the coronavirus pandemic.
man lying down in a hospital bed with a child holding his hand

There are no reports that this has happened in Shropshire but a number of recent media stories have highlighted examples of GP practices and CCGs acting inappropriately and insensitively by asking patients to sign DNAR forms via a letter without prior consultation. This clearly goes against current guidance.

NHS England has now written to all parts of the system to reiterate that such action is not appropriate and stress that at no point should ‘blanket policies’ be used to apply DNARs to any group of patients.This point has already been made in the joint guidance issued by the BMA, Resuscitation Council UK and the Royal College of Nursing.

This has highlighted the importance of having a plan, often called an Advance Care Plan, in place especially if you or one of your loved ones have been identified as high risk of severe illness if you catch COVID-19.

Whilst this can be a difficult conversation, planning can help you express your wishes, helping your family and professionals make decisions about your care if you are unable to.

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