Use of do-not-resuscitate orders to be reviewed by care regulator

Thousands deprived of their liberty without proper assessment

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to review how do not attempt resuscitation (DNAR) decisions were used during the coronavirus pandemic.

The work, at the request of the Department of Health and Social Care, is expected to look at people’s experiences in care homes, primary care and hospitals.

Earlier this year concerns were reported that older and vulnerable people may have been subjected to DNAR decisions without their consent or with little information to allow them to make an informed choice.

In April, the CQC, British Medical Association, Care Provider Alliance and Royal College of General Practitioners, issued a statement telling providers that it was unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without DNAR form completion to be applied to groups of people.

The review will share best practice and identify where decisions may not have been patient-centred so mistakes are not repeated. Interim findings are expected this year with a final report in early 2021.

Dr Rosie Benneyworth, chief inspector of primary medical services and integrated care at the CQC, said: ‘Health and social care providers have faced extraordinary pressures this year. Both staff, and people using services and their loved ones, have at times raised concerns with us about care. It is vital that we take this opportunity to learn from what has happened – challenging poor care and sharing the ways that providers have put people’s needs at the heart of their care so that others can learn from them.

‘Along with partners we have been clear that it is unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without do not attempt resuscitation form completion, to be applied to groups of people of any description. These decisions must continue to be made on an individual basis according to need.’