The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


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LTHT launches first online ReSPECT form

Friday 18th May 2018

Leeds Teaching Hospitals is proud to be the first NHS Trust to implement a new digital way to ensure patients’ wishes about their care in an emergency are known, shared and respected.

Clinical teams in our hospitals now have digital access to the agreed outcomes of conversations about vital aspects of care, including resuscitation and end of life care, as well as treatment preferences in an emergency.

The Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) is an emergency care plan to support conversations and record recommendations arising from discussion between clinician and patient or those close to the patient.

Encouraging open and honest conversations between clinicians and patients about difficult decisions is important and we need to ensure that, in the event of sudden clinical deterioration, patients’ wishes are complied with. Often this involves patients who have long-term or life-limiting medical conditions, but a ReSPECT plan can be completed for any patient.

Patient’s wishes are currently recorded in many different ways, for example DNACPR forms, handwritten in paper notes and others in clinical letters. This means preferences are not all recorded in one place and may be difficult for clinicians to find in the event of an emergency.

The new ReSPECT form is part of patient’s electronic health record and records information on advanced care decisions and preferences, in addition to information about advance decisions to refuse treatment, lasting power of attorney and patient and carers insight into their condition. This data is easily accessible by all clinicians at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and, crucially, by other healthcare organisations in Yorkshire.

Dr Adam Hurlow, Consultant in Palliative Care, said: “This is a significant step forward in improving care for our patients. These can be difficult conversations of patients, their loved ones and clinicians but we want to ensure patients can tell us how they would wish to be treated should their condition deteriorate, including things like resuscitation.  Being able to record a patient’s wishes electronically like this means we can have greater confidence that patients receive the kind of care they asked for no matter where they are.” 

“As a doctor, I feel much more reassured that the difficult discussions I have with my patients are recorded and shared correctly and they will be looked at and taken into account when the time comes. It also means that if I’m looking after a patient I’ve not met before, who can’t tell me what they want, I can be more confident I am acting in accordance with their wishes.”

Richard Corbridge, Chief Digital and Information Officer, said: “This is crucial information for our medical teams to be able to provide the right care for patients in emergency situations and having it in systematically recorded and immediately available will make a real difference.

Connecting the ReSPECT form to our own electronic health record is another step to creating a genuinely integrated care plan which can be accessed by anyone providing care to patients.

We are keen to work collaboratively with other organisations to share best practice and support the roll out of the electronic ReSPECT form across the NHS.”