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Innovative new app teaches staff how to involve patients in emergency care planning

28 September 2017

A new app that teaches health and care staff how to involve patients and those close to them in decisions about a future health emergency launched this month at the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester.

The first of its kind, the educational app is built around the recently released ReSPECT process; a new way for clinicians, patients and their families to create personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a potential future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices.

The app allows health and care staff to complete short training modules via a simple, user-friendly interface. The modules use a mix of animation, tutorials and real-life examples to help staff improve their communication with patients and their families about difficult decisions for their future care.

The app is to be tested as part of a new pilot programme, led by UCLPartners and working with colleagues from Whittington Health, to evaluate the ReSPECT process in three care homes in Islington, north London.  The pilot will test the implementation of ReSPECT and how it affects the care that residents receive, both in their care home and in a subsequent care setting, e.g. a hospital.

The pilot will run for 12 months from September 2017, in partnership with Macmillan and the RCN Foundation. The learning will inform the wider roll out across London and nationally.

Dr Caroline Stirling, End of Life Care Lead at UCLPartners, said:

“This work is a really important step forward in ensuring people are involved in decisions about their future care.  Our colleagues across health and care have helped develop the app and through their input, we’ve created a unique tool that we hope will improve the lives of people we care for.”

View the press release for the launch of the ReSPECT app here.