Healthcare professionals should work with patients to make decisions on a case by case basis.
The news comes after patients reported pressure from GPs and other healthcare providers to allow do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) orders to be written based on their age or chronic condition.
The statement outlines the need to ensure “person centred individualised care” is at the heart of all clinical practice and warns healthcare professionals need to work with patients to make decisions on a case by case basis.
While the current pandemic means that healthcare professionals “are under great pressure to make urgent, clinically complex decisions”, “peoples’ wishes and preferences can be taken into account”.
Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Executive and Registrar at the NMC, said: “In recent weeks I have been disturbed by reports of blanket do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) orders being applied to groups of people without their involvement or any individual assessment of their needs.
“This is completely unacceptable,” she added.
“We know the best care is person-centred and tailored to people’s individual needs. We also know health and care professionals are working under incredible pressure as they respond to the Covid19 pandemic, often making rapid decisions in very complex situations.
“That’s why it is so important for health and care professionals to work together with the people they are caring for, and those close to them, to understand their wishes and preferences when it comes to plans for their care. We have joined with the General Medical Council to emphasise this in our statement today.
“These are difficult conversations at any time but especially now. I am confident that handled with the skill and compassion our nursing and midwifery professionals show every day, those conversations will mean the rights and wishes of people using health and care services are understood, respected and honoured.”