RCUK endorses Framework for improved collaborative working between Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine

Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) welcomes the publication of ‘Better Together: Collaborative Working Between Emergency and Critical Care’, a framework published by The Royal College of Emergency Medicine and The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.  

The Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine involved us at an early stage. We were pleased to contribute to the development of the framework, and to see many of our recommendations included.  

This new framework aims to improve collaborative working between Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine. It is a nationally agreed strategy document which aims to foster closer working relationships between professionals working in the two disciplines. It also aims to achieve consistency in clinical care for critically ill adult patients in the resuscitation area in emergency departments across the UK.  

RCUK is pleased to see the framework reference the Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) Process and our publication ‘Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation’, and recognise the value of our training courses:  

Communication processes: 

  • The framework recommends that decision making related to end-of-life care should involve patients and the people close to them wherever possible, and should take previous decisions into account, such as those identified by the ReSPECT Process. Decisions must be documented and communicated clearly to patients and their next-of-kin or their legal representative if appropriate. 
  • In its discussion of Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR), which is intrinsic to palliative care in critically ill patients: the framework highlights that Resuscitation Council UK issues regularly updated guidance on DNACPR, jointly with The British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing. 

Improving nursing staff training:  

Maintaining emergency care medical skills in caring for the critically ill:  

In response to the framework’s publication, Sue Hampshire, Director of Clinical and Service Development at Resuscitation Council UK, said:  

“Effective teamworking between emergency and intensive care colleagues is vital to the quality of care critically ill patients receive within hospitals.  

“This framework highlights the importance of high-quality communication and skilled teams delivering patient care. We hope this framework will foster improved collaborative working. 

“It is great to see the inclusion of ReSPECT, our joint guidance on decision making for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and our ALS and ILS training courses.  

“We look forward to seeing the benefits of the Framework in practice to improving the care of critically ill adults across the UK.”  

Learn more about the ReSPECT Process >