Cambridge University Hospitals goes live with the ReSPECT process

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Cambridge University Hospitals is adopting the ReSPECT process from the 5th December.

ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment and has been developed nationally in collaboration with clinicians and patients in order to address some of the problems associated with the DNACPR (Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) forms. Full information can be found on

The idea is that health professionals have conversations with patients about what outcomes are most important or most feared by them; and then make a series of clinical recommendations in partnership with them which would be documented on ReSPECT documentation. This would include a recommendation about resuscitation, but this would always be contextualised within overall goals of care. Recommendations may include under what circumstances a patient wishes to be readmitted back into hospital; or whether their priority is staying at home with 'just in case medication' in the event of a deterioration.

Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) will be sending patients home with a copy of their ReSPECT form, as it documents much more than what is on the East of England DNACPR form, and do not want the richness of the conversations or recommendations to be lost.  CUH will (of course) continue to acknowledge the East of England forms when patients come into hospital with them. 

Whilst they appreciate that it is not ideal to have two approaches in the community at the same time. This transition has been supported by the ambulance clinician colleagues that they have had the opportunity to speak with as well as Dr Tom Davis, Medical Director and Tracy Nicholls, Director of Clinical Quality and Improvement.  The change to ReSPECT will provide more information about when a patient should be taken to hospital, and when they would rather be managed at home. 

Frequently asked questions and slides can be found on LearnZone for more information.

If you have questions about ReSPECT, the leads for the ReSPECT adoption at CUH (Dr Zoë Fritz and Alexandra Malyon) would be happy to talk with you, or come and do a teaching session if desired.

Published 6th December 2018

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