Implementation of ReSPECT in acute hospitals: A retrospective observational study

Claire A Hawkes, James Griffin, Karin Eli, Frances Griffiths, Anne-Marie Slowther, Zoë Fritz, Martin Underwood, Catherine Baldock, Doug Gould, Richard Lilford, Claire Jacques, Jane Warwick, Gavin D Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


AIMS: To evaluate, in UK acute hospitals, the early implementation of the Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT), which embeds cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) recommendations within wider emergency treatment plans. To understand for whom and how the process was being used and the quality of form completion.

METHODS: A retrospective observational study evaluating emergency care and treatment planning approaches used in acute UK hospitals (2015-2019), and in six English hospital trusts the extent of ReSPECT use, patient characteristics and completion quality in a sample 3000 patient case notes.

RESULTS: The use of stand-alone Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation forms fell from 133/186 hospitals in 2015 to 64/186 in 2019 (a 38% absolute reduction). ReSPECT accounted for 52% (36/69) of changes. In the six sites, ReSPECT was used for approximately 20% of patients (range 6%-41%). They tended to be older, to have had an emergency medical admission, to have cognitive impairment and a lower predicted 10 year survival. Most (653/706 (92%)) included a 'not for attempted resuscitation' recommendation 551/706 (78%) had at least one other treatment recommendation. Capacity was not recorded on 13% (95/706) of forms; 11% (79/706) did not record patient/family involvement.

CONCLUSIONS: ReSPECT use accounts for 52% of the change, observed between 2015 and 2019, from using standalone DNACPR forms to approaches embedding DNACPR decisions within in wider emergency care plans in NHS hospitals in the UK. Whilst recommendations include other emergencies most still tend to focus on recommendations relating to CPR. Completion of ReSPECT forms requires improvement.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
Early online date21 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


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