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Covid-19: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation

Volume 692: debated on Tuesday 13 April 2021

What assessment he has made of the use of do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation orders during the covid-19 outbreak. (914192)

In October 2020, I commissioned the Care Quality Commission to review how do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation decisions were taken throughout the covid-19 pandemic and whether they had been inappropriately applied. We welcome the CQC report, which was published on 18 March, and we are committed to driving forward delivery of the recommendations through a ministerial oversight group, which I will chair, to ultimately ensure that everyone experiences the compassionate care that they deserve.

I welcome the Minister’s comments. It is over a decade since I worked with clinicians on how to communicate end-of-life care, so I was shocked by some of the reports and by reading the CQC and Compassion in Dying reports. The lessons learned from coronavirus can and should be seen as a catalyst to having more open and honest conversations about this decision making and advanced care planning. Will the Minister commit to a public awareness campaign, including groups such as Compassion in Dying, Marie Curie and Hospice UK, to ensure that patients are fully aware and at the heart of these decisions?

I thank the hon. Lady for her question. That is exactly what we are trying to do at the moment. We have posted a public-facing message on the website, which informs the public about how DNACPR decisions should be taken and the process involved. There should be no blanket application of DNACPR notices. Every patient should be involved in the decision when a notice is applied, as well as the family, relatives and care workers, and where possible it should be signed by a clinician. This engagement with the NHS, the wider public and the voluntary and care sectors is ongoing, and we continue to monitor it.