The ReSPECT process creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care and treatment in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.

These recommendations are created through conversations between a person, their families, and their health and care professionals to understand what matters to them and what is realistic in terms of their care and treatment.

How ReSPECT works

Healthcare professional speaking to patient about decision making

ReSPECT and decision making conversations happen between a person, their families, and their health and care professionals. These conversations help create an understanding of what is important to the person.

Patient preferences and clinical recommendations are discussed and recorded on a non-legally binding form which can be reviewed and adapted if circumstances change.

Who is ReSPECT for?

The ReSPECT process can be for anyone but will have increasing relevance for people who have 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. Some people will want to record their care and treatment preferences for other reasons.

The ReSPECT process is increasingly being adopted within health and care communities around the UK.

COVID-19 Resources: Resuscitation Council UK has created a range of resources about decision making during COVID-19. Click here to view


Sharing stories

Sharing stories relating to the use of ReSPECT will help us to learn from and promote the process. If you have experience of using ReSPECT, either as a patient/carer or as a health care professional, we would love to hear about it. Please get in touch at


Find supporting files for Health Care Professionals, Patients and Carers, as well as publications and newsletter archives in our resource section