Local people asked for help to design a campaign around future care preferences
A new way of giving people more influence over their future care and treatment in emergency situations launched in Norfolk and Waveney in March this year. Now the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership (N&WHCP) is asking local people to help them design a campaign to encourage everyone to start having conversations about their future care preferences.
ReSPECT – which stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment – ReSPECT can record preferences and recommendations for emergency situations, whatever stage of life the patient is at. It is designed to allow patients greater influence on what happens to them in their own individual situation and ensures their wishes are carried out appropriately.
It involves a conversation between a person and their health professional to develop a shared understanding of the person’s medical condition, their preferences for care and treatment, and realistic outcomes. A summary of this conversation is then recorded in a ReSPECT form.
Dr Caroline Barry, Consultant in Palliative Care and Medical Lead for ReSPECT in Norfolk & Waveney said: “Many people have particular preferences about the sort of serious medical treatments that they would like to receive; particularly those that involve the risk of causing harm, discomfort, and loss of dignity. This might include a preference to receive care in their own home, rather than be admitted to hospital.
“A ReSPECT conversation explores that person’s preferences for their care and realistic treatment in the event of a future emergency. It then goes on to make and record agreed clinical recommendations for in a future emergency in which they have lost the ability to make or express decisions.
“ReSPECT is a national process which we are adopting locally. It has already been adopted in many areas in England and Scotland which means the information will be recognised across geographical boundaries as well as enabling professionals such as ambulance crews, doctors, care home staff, and hospital staff to make immediate decisions about a person’s emergency care and treatment.”
“A patient doesn’t have to be nearing the end of their life to have the conversation with their health professional. We want to encourage all members of the public to start thinking about what they would like to happen should the situation occur and to talk about it openly at home too. But we would like local people to help us design the right messages so please take some time to fill out our survey.”