Coronavirus: No change to ‘do not resuscitate’ policy in Fife

Victoria Hospital, KirkcaldyVictoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy
Health bosses respond to concerns

Health bosses in Fife have said there has been no change to their ‘do not resuscitate’ policies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Their statement came after a councillor sought clarity following reports patients had been asked to agree to a DNR order.

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David J Ross, the Scottish Conservatives’ health and social care lead on Fife Council wrote to Dr Chris McKenna, medical director of NHS Fife, and the associate medical director of Fife Health And Social Care Partnership for their views.

Councillor Ross said: “I’m sure we have all seen stories of people either been given letters home with them or being asked over the telephone to agree to Do Not Resuscitate orders.

“Whilst I appreciate the service is under great strain at the moment it is not right or appropriate that people are being asked to make these difficult decisions without prior discussion”.

In response, Dr McKenna said Fife’s policy had not changed despite the virus.

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A statement added: “There are no protocols in place preventing staff from performing resuscitation on patients with COVID-19. The care we provide to all patients is person-centred, with any clinical decisions made based entirely on the individual and their particular circumstances.

“As with any aspect of patient care, we have an obligation to prevent our staff from being exposed to harm and have asked that the necessary personal protective equipment is worn when performing CPR to prevent possible exposure to the virus.

“ A huge amount of work has been carried out over recent weeks to prepare our services for the anticipated increase in demand, and enable us to provide the best possible care to those who need it, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 or not.”

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