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DNACPR Decisions: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL15098, tabled on 20 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there have been different instructions for Do Not Resuscitate Orders for (1) disabled patients, (2) dementia patients, and (3) elderly patients during the COVID-19 pandemic; and whether these have only been issued in consultation with relatives.

Answered on

26 April 2021

The Care Quality Commission’s report into how Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions were made during the COVID 19 pandemic, found 508 instances where a DNACPR had been placed on a patient’s record without their agreement or agreement from their families or carers.

The Department remains clear that it is unacceptable for DNACPR decisions to be applied in a blanket fashion to any group of people and should be fully discussed with the individual and their family where possible and appropriate. Over the last year, clinical leaders have issued a number of statements which emphasise personalised approaches to care and treatment and reiterate that there has never been an instruction or directive issued by the National Health Service to put in place blanket DNACPRs due to medical condition, disability or age.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care