ReSPECT - Empowering you to make decisions

ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment. The ReSPECT process creates a personalised recommendation for your clinical care in emergency situations where you are not able to make decisions or express your wishes.

ReSPECT plans can be for anyone, but have increasing relevance for people who have complex health needs, people who are likely to be nearing the end of their lives, and people who are at risk of sudden deterioration or cardiac arrest. Some people will want to record their care and treatment preferences for other personal reasons.

A ReSPECT plan is created through conversations between you and your health care professionals and stays with you, so should you need help in an emergency your wishes on care and treatment are known. In an emergency, health or care professionals may have to make rapid decisions about your treatment, and you may not be well enough to discuss and make choices. This plan empowers you to guide them on what treatments you would or would not want to be considered for, and to have recorded those treatments that could be important or those that would not work for you.

You can include your family and/or carers in your conversations with a doctor or senior nurse when creating your plan, so that everyone that is important to you knows and understands your priorities of care and treatment in an emergency.

Empowering people to know that should an emergency come about, knowing care and treatment wishes are known offers peace of mind for you, your family and the health care professionals looking after you.

You can find out more about ReSPECT on our website and the NHS West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups website:


CPR guidance

A ReSPECT form includes a section on what is called cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Previously in West Sussex we used red bordered do not resuscitate forms (if you have one please do not worry as it is still valid).

‘CPR (CardioPulmonary Resuscitation) is an emergency intervention that tries to restart your heart (and its normal rhythm and pumping action) and your breathing.’It may may include:-

  • Repeatedly pushing down firmly on your chest.
  • Using a special mask or a tube to help you breathe.
  • Using electric currents from a defibrillator to try and restart your heart.
  • Using medication, often given into the veins, in order to help restart your heart (

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is not as successful when we are already unwell as we think it is wherever we may be and unfortunately any illness will still be there afterwards along with potential injurie and damage from the process.

Further information on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation can be found on the award winning welsh website Talk CPR-Discuss DNACPR and can be found here: