Commenting on the CQC rapid review of DNACPR decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of national older people’s charity Independent Age said:

"It’s extremely concerning to see so many do no resuscitate decisions being made without the involvement of patients or relatives. People who call our helpline have shared the negative impact this has had on their physical and mental health. Patient involvement should not be a courtesy, but part of a robust system of checks and balances.

"The pandemic has been a difficult and anxious time for people in later life and the health and care professionals who treat them, but there is no excuse for breaching people’s fundamental human rights. We must ensure that even during tough times, people in need of treatment and their families are supported to make informed decisions through honest discussions between patients, doctors and families.

"‘Blanket’ policies on clinical decisions are inappropriate, whether due to medical condition, disability or age, especially with regards to DNACPR forms. We welcome the recommendation from the CQC for a Ministerial Oversight Group to urgently make much needed improvements to the current system."

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