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Help patients plan for a potential health crisis

The ReSPECT scheme uses advance discussions to make care choices for a future emergency

The ReSPECT scheme uses advance discussions to make care choices for a future emergency

Having potentially difficult conversations with patients about their preferences for treatment can be challenging at the best of times. It is even harder when they’re extremely unwell or having a health crisis.

A recently developed process aims to create recommendations for someone’s clinical care in a future emergency, based on their own wishes and preferences, gathered through advance discussions.

‘As clinicians, we tend to think patients don’t want to talk about these issues, but they do, and they find it really helpful,’ says Catherine Baldock, clinical lead for ReSPECT (recommended summary plans for emergency care and treatment) at the cardiopulmonary resuscitation charity Resuscitation Council.

Comfort and reassurance

In practice, the ReSPECT process involves developing a plan through conversations between a patient and one or

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