HAMPSHIRE Hospitals has become the first trust in Wessex to implement the “ReSPECT” process which allows people to decide the level of care that they receive in an emergency.

The ReSPECT process sees a person and health professionals draw up a plan, which includes clinical recommendations about care and treatment that could help to achieve the outcome that person would want.

ReSPECT also includes a list of the treatments that would not help or that the person would not wish to receive, this allows people to have choice in what happens to them in emergencies.

This comes as good news to people like Roy Ford, whose wife Janet was diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer earlier this year.

When Janet’s condition worsened, an ambulance crew allowed Janet to spend her last few days at home where she later passed away.

Roy Ford said: “Thinking about the treatment you would and would not like to receive in a medical emergency is incredibly important, not just for you, but for your family too.

“I think ReSPECT is an excellent initiative.

“Knowing that everyone is on the same page and that the decisions are based on not only what you want but are also clinically appropriate is reassuring.

“It’s not something you often want to think about, but knowing these decisions are recorded and that the right people will see them when it matters takes some of the uncertainty away.”

The ReSPECT form is kept by the person at all times to ensure healthcare professionals, responding to the emergency, have all the information they need to decide on care and treatment.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners at South Central Ambulance Service, in primary care and in nursing and residential homes to implement the ReSPECT process.

“The ReSPECT process can be for anyone, but it is likely to be especially relevant to people with complex health needs, people who are likely to be nearing the end of their lives, and people who are at risk of sudden deterioration or cardiac arrest.”

If you would like to draw up a plan, speak to your GP or the consultant in charge of your care.