Elderly care home residents have been categorised “en masse” as not requiring resuscitation, in a strategy branded unacceptable by the healthcare regulator.
People in care homes in Hove, East Sussex and south Wales are among those who have had “do not attempt resuscitation” (DNAR) notices applied to their care plans during the coronavirus outbreak without proper consultation with them or their families, MPs and medical unions fear.
Care homes in Leeds have reported that district nurses have been asking them to “revisit do not resuscitate conversations with people who said they didn’t want them” and a care worker in Wales told the Guardian that after a visit from a GP, all 20 of their residents had DNAR notices attached to their plans.
DNAR notices are a common part of care plans and many people wish to have them in place because, in the event of cardiac arrest, attempts to resuscitate can cause serious trauma, including broken bones. But the Care Quality Commission and other medical bodies are so concerned about the blanket application of the notices that it has issued a warning to stop.
“It is unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without DNAR form completion, to be applied to groups of people of any description,” the notice states. “These decisions must continue to be made on an individual basis according to need.”
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Source: The Guardian, 1 April 2020