CQC review into DNACPR decisions

Protect, respect, connect – decisions about living and dying well during COVID-19

Today (18th March) CQC have published their review into how do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions have been used across all health and care sectors during the Covid 19 pandemic. The full report and easy read version are available here.

The review was commissioned by the Department for Health and Social Care following concerns early in the pandemic that DNACPRs were being applied to groups of people without their knowledge.

"Across the review process, whilst inspectors did find some examples of good practice, they also found a worrying picture of poor involvement of people using services, poor record keeping, and a lack of oversight and scrutiny of the decisions being made.”

The report recognises that Covid-19 exacerbated existing issues around lack of understanding about the importance of good conversations about what should happen if an individual becomes very ill.

Three key areas are identified in the report where there needs to be a focus going forward:

  1. Information training and support so individuals have the time and information they need to talk about what care and support they want
  2. A consistent national approach to advance care planning
  3. Improved oversight and assurance of regional health and care systems to make sure people receive personalised compassionate care relating to DNACPR decisions.

The report makes several recommendations including the establishment of a Ministerial Oversight Group. It is intended this group will work with partners in health and social care, local government and the voluntary sector to take responsibility for delivering improvements in this area.

CQC must now make sure the recommendations put forward in this review are implemented as quickly as possible to ensure individuals including children and adults with learning disabilities receive equal access to appropriate healthcare.


Information for families

For information about supporting your relative with learning disabilities with health related issues, and about decision making, please see our website here.

This page includes resources on:

  • Going into hospital during Covid 19
  • Learning Disability nurses

Also see our Covid 19 Legal FAQs. FAQ 1 includes a question and answer about what to do if you are worried a do not resuscitate notice will be added to your relative’s medical record.

If your relative has a severe learning disability you can also contact our helpline on 0300 666 0126 for more information.

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