For Health & Care Professionals

What is ReSPECT?

ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment. The ReSPECT process creates a summary of personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they do not have capacity to make or express choices. Such emergencies may include death or cardiac arrest, but are not limited to those events. The process is intended to respect both patient preferences and clinical judgement. The agreed realistic clinical recommendations that are recorded include a recommendation on whether or not CPR should be attempted if the person’s heart and breathing stop.

illustration of ReSPECT form

How does it work?

The plan is created through conversations between a person and one or more of the health professionals who are involved with their care.

The plan should stay with the person and be available immediately to health and care professionals faced with making immediate decisions in an emergency in which the person themselves has lost capacity to participate in making those decisions.

ReSPECT may be used across a range of health and care settings, including the person’s own home, an ambulance, a care home, a hospice or a hospital. Professionals such as ambulance crews, out-of-hours doctors, care home staff and hospital staff will be better able to make immediate decisions about a person’s emergency care and treatment if they have prompt access to agreed clinical recommendations on a ReSPECT form.

What is a ReSPECT conversation?

A ReSPECT conversation follows the ReSPECT process by:

  1. discussing and reaching a shared understanding of the person’s current state of health and how it may change in the foreseeable future
  2. identifying the person’s preferences for and goals of care in the event of a future emergency
  3. using that to record an agreed focus of care as being more towards life-sustaining treatments or more towards prioritising comfort rather than efforts to sustain life
  4. making and recording shared decisions about specific types of care and realistic treatment that they would want considered, or that they would not want, and explaining sensitively advance decisions about treatments that clearly would not work in their situation
  5. making and recording a shared decision about whether or not CPR is recommended

For more information, please see the resources available below and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) page.

ReSPECT was created by

Resuscitation Council NHS London SCN Care Quality Commission The National Council for Palliative Care Association of Amblance Cheif Executives NHS Scotland Royal College or Nursing Royal College of Anaesthetists Royal College of Emergency Medicine Rpyal College of Physicians Royal College of General Practitioners Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh Professional Records Standards Body Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine Intensive Care Society Association for Palliative Medicine Paediatric Intensive Care Society Child and Younf Persons Advance Care Plan Collabroative Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee marie-curie macmillan cancer support Cambridge University Hospitals University of Southampton Warrick Clincal Trials Unit UCL Partners helix centre