ReSPECT stands for Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment. The ReSPECT process creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care and treatment in emergency situations when they may not be able to make decisions or express their wishes.

  • Who is it for?

    This plan can be for anyone but will have more relevance for people who have health needs, people who are at risk of a sudden health crisis and people who are likely to be nearing the end of their lives. Some people will want to record their care and treatment preferences for other reasons.

  • How does it work?

    The plan is written on a ReSPECT form following conversations between a person, health care professionals (for example this could be their GP, Hospital Consultant or Nurse) and sometimes other people that are important to the person.

    The plan stays with the person wherever they go and should be available immediately to the Ambulance Service, Doctors or Nurses called to help in an emergency, whether this happens at home or out and about. Those called to help the person will be able to make decisions about how best to help, from the individual’s priorities and recommendations recorded on the ReSPECT form.

  • What kinds of things are discussed?

    In order to understand what is important to the person, healthcare professionals will discuss priorities, possible future situations relating to health and the options that may be available in an emergency. Together these conversations will be used to develop an agreed plan that records what types of care or treatment:

    • The person would want to be considered for in an emergency
    • The person would not want to receive
    • Would not work or be of overall benefit to the person

    It is important to understand that the ReSPECT form cannot be used to demand treatments that are unlikely to benefit an individual and would therefore not be recommended. The ReSPECT recommendations are there to help people looking after a person in an emergency to make quick decisions in line with their wishes. The ReSPECT process is not legally binding but should be used to guide decision making by health professionals responding in an emergency to achieve the best and most personalised care possible.

  • Can I get one?

    ReSPECT is available in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, please contact your GP/Healthcare professional if you would like to discuss the ReSPECT process.

Resources for patients


This organisation ceased to exist on 30 June 2022, please visit our new website for NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care Board - Integrated Care Board :: Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System (