Commenting on the Queen’s Nursing Institute report on DNR orders being placed on older care home residents during the coronavirus pandemic, Deborah Alsina MBE, Chief Executive of older people’s charity Independent Age, said:
“These findings from the Queen’s Nursing Institute are very concerning. The pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for both patients and health and care professionals, but older people should not have their choice and control removed regarding how their life ends, simply because of their chronological age.
“Older people need to be given clear information so they can make the decision that’s right for them. This new research shows that sadly, in many cases, people seem to have had their wishes and preferences ignored.
“Do not resuscitate orders should, wherever possible, be made in consultation with the person concerned and their family and be based on fitness to be treated, as well as personal preference. Care home staff have been under enormous pressure over the last five months and it is unfair on both staff and residents, to be instructed to change DNR plans without consultation.
“It’s critical that the decision-making process that allowed this to take place is properly investigated so that the same mistakes are not made again.”