New clinical initiative introduced to Hallam students and staff

A new and alternative approach to creating personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in emergencies, including CPR, was discussed at an event held at Sheffield Hallam University this week.

The ReSPECT masterclass (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment) saw the new initiative introduced to Hallam’s healthcare students and staff as well as healthcare professionals from across the region, as the campaign prepares to be implemented in hospitals and communities across the country.

ReSPECT, which is being supported nationally by NHS Trusts and charities, is a process that creates a personalised plan based on shared decision making between healthcare professionals, patients and their families about a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.

It provides professionals responding to an emergency with a summary of recommendations to help them to make immediate decisions about that person’s care and treatment.

ReSPECT can be complementary to a wider process of advance/anticipatory care planning, focusing on treatments that should be considered for a patient, as well as those that are not wanted or that would not work in their situation.

Michelle Davies, an associate lecturer at Sheffield Hallam in the department of nursing and midwifery, has played a key part in the set up and roll out of the national ReSPECT process at Heart of England NHS Trust.

Michelle delivered the ReSPECT masterclass at the University this week. She said: “The ReSPECT process is about creating and recording a plan through conversations between a person and the healthcare professional involved in their care.

“It allows for a shared understanding and decision making about the type of care and realistic treatment that the patient would or wouldn’t want.

“A ReSPECT conversation also involves the healthcare professional explaining and discussing treatments that would not work in their situation. This allows identification of the person’s preferences and goals for care in the event of an emergency in which they have lost capacity to participate in making decisions, including if CPR is recommended.

“I hope the students and delegates have gained additional information about the process and strategies to help them implement ReSPECT should they need to.”

Jack Graham, a 2nd year student paramedic at Sheffield Hallam said: “This event really reinforced for me the importance of empowering patients to make decisions about their own care and be able to comfortably have conversations with clinicians about their end of life care.

“I think that it’s crucial that patients can have these conversations based on what their preferences are and what choices they want to make about their care towards the end of their life.”

Paul Whiting, intensive care medicine consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, who also attended Tuesday’s masterclass said:

“I am a great advocate for the ReSPECT campaign, being somebody who is involved in looking after patients who are very unwell and a lot of times, are at the end of their life and I think that it’s very important that we have early discussions with people about what we can and can’t do and what options are available to them, and also how that translates into the quality of their life thereafter.

“I think it’s very important that what we do is get all of those young professionals who are coming into health care to understand the importance of discussing with people about death, about sickness and about the options which may or may not be available to them and also their wishes.”

For more information about the ReSPECT process please visit: respectprocess.org.uk