Glossary

Advance Care Plan (ACP)
An Advance Care Plan is a structured documented discussion with patients and their families or carers about their wishes and thoughts for the future. It is a means of improving care for people, usually those nearing the end of life, and of enabling better planning and provision of care, to help them live and die in the place and the manner of their choosing. An ACP is likely to contain information about personal preferences (e.g. place of care preferences, funeral plans, understanding prognosis).

CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
CardioPulmonary Resuscitation includes all the procedures, from basic first aid to advanced medical interventions, that can be used to try to restore the circulation and breathing in someone whose heart and breathing have stopped. The initial procedures usually include repeated, vigorous compression of the chest, and blowing air or oxygen into the lungs to try to achieve some circulation and breathing until, for example, where appropriate an attempt can be made to restart the heart with an electric shock (defibrillation).

Capacity
Capacity means the ability to make and express a decision in relation to a particular matter. To have capacity a person must be able to understand the information relevant to the decision, to retain that information, to use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision and to communicate that decision (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means). If their mind is impaired or disturbed in some way, making and communicating decisions may not be possible. A person may lack capacity temporarily or permanently. However, a person should be assumed to have capacity for a decision unless or until it has been shown that they do not.

Critical care
Critical care (also known as Intensive Care) is branch of medicine concerned with providing life support for critically ill patients.

Do Not Attempt CardioPulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR)
Do Not Attempt CardioPulmonary Resuscitation decisions have also been called DNR, DNAR or ‘Not for Resuscitation’ (NFR) decisions or ‘orders’. They refer to decisions made and recorded to recommend that CPR is not attempted on a person should they suffer cardiac arrest or die. The purpose of a DNACPR decision is to provide immediate guidance to health or care professionals that CPR would not be wanted by the person, or would not work or be of overall benefit to that person. This tries to ensure that a person who does not want CPR or would not benefit from it is not subjected to CPR and deprived of a dignified death or, worse still harmed by it.

Emergency Department (ED)
Emergency Department, sometimes known as Accident & Emergency (A&E), or ‘Casualty’ is the area in a hospital that deals with serious emergencies (e.g. serious injury, loss of consciousness, stroke, persistent or severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding, severe allergic reactions and bad burns or scalds). Not all hospitals have an ED.

General Medical Council (GMC)
General Medical Council is the independent regulator for medical practitioners in the United Kingdom. It maintains a register of all doctors eligible to work in the UK.

Health Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Health Care Professions Council is the independent regulator in the United Kingdom for a range of health and care professionals (e.g. clinical psychologists, paramedics, chiropodists and occupational therapists).

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
Intensive Care Unit is also referred to as Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU). This is the area in a hospital that provides sophisticated monitoring and equipment to assess and support the function of a critically ill patient’s vital organs, such as the lungs or kidneys or heart and circulation (e.g. a ventilator to help with breathing) until, whenever possible, they recover.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the area in a hospital that provides sophisticated monitoring and equipment to assess and support the function of a critically ill newborn baby’s vital organs, such as the lungs or kidneys or heart and circulation (e.g. a ventilator to help with breathing) until, whenever possible, they recover.

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)
Nursing & Midwifery Council is the independent regulator for nursing and midwifery professions in the United Kingdom. It maintains a register of all nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses eligible to practise within the UK.

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
Paediatric Intensive Care Unit is the area in a hospital that provides sophisticated monitoring and equipment to assess and support the function of a critically ill child’s vital organs, such as the lungs or kidneys or heart and circulation (e.g. a ventilator to help with breathing) until, whenever possible, they recover.

Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT)
ReSPECT Is the first nationwide approach to discussing and agreeing care and treatment recommendations to guide decision-making in the event of an emergency in which the person has lost capacity to make or express choices. This process can be used by patients and people of all ages.

Resuscitation
Resuscitation is general term used to describe various emergency treatments to correct life-threatening physiological disorders in a critically ill person. For example, ‘fluid resuscitation’ refers to rapid delivery of fluid into the bloodstream of a person who is critically fluid-depleted. Rapid blood transfusion for someone with severe bleeding is another example. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is sometimes referred to as ‘resuscitation’ but is a specific type of emergency treatment that is used to try to restart the heart and breathing (see CPR above).