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Improve your experience with ReSPECT

Have you ever thought about how you might want to be cared for in the future? What about if something should happen and you're no longer able to say what you want?

Not many of us think about such things, yet everyone should have their say over how they want to be cared for at the critical stages of their life.

ReSPECT is a programme that aims to help everyone get the care they want, where they want it, even in the event that they are unable to communicate.

ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment and is a two-way discussion that takes place between the person and the healthcare professional to enable their current and future state of health to be discussed and their priorities of care to be voiced. The patient's wishes and recommendations for their care in emergency situations are documented on a ReSPECT form by the healthcare professional.

Phyllis Tuckwell is implementing and embedding the ReSPECT process and it is already in use across the Surrey Heartlands and Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care Systems (ICS).

Local GP Dr Emma Whitehouse said, "As a GP we see so many patients with many different, long-term health conditions, who may deteriorate rapidly or may be approaching the end of their lives. We need to be able to recognise these situations and to engage with our patients, their families and carers, to become active partners in their care, including decisions about their wishes about their care in emergency situations and when they may be approaching the end of their life. ReSPECT is a way to plan for the crisis before the crisis happens; so when those progressive or rapidly-deteriorating changes occur, the healthcare professionals caring for that individual know that they are following the thoughts and wishes of that patient and their families and carers. This forward-thinking and patient-centred approach can give people peace of mind, knowing that they have taken important decisions around their health and care, and that they have worked with clinicians to ensure their treatment will be appropriate to their wishes. They can be reassured that what is most important to them has been documented, should they lose capacity for any reason. This helps people to feel respected and it grants them a sense of dignity at a difficult time in their life."

ReSPECT also supports families, as it frees them of the responsbility of having to take difficult decisions on behalf of their loved ones.

A useful video can be found here, which explains the ReSPECT approach (this is filmed with the GP leading on ReSPECT, but it can be also implemented by your Phyllis Tuckwell healthcare professional).