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WATCH: The NHS pushing DNRs on the “mildly frail”

The above video was sent to us on twitter. Dr Vernon Coleman, author and former general practitioner for the NHS, is reading the NICE care guidelines for critical care admissions during the Covid19 “pandemic”.

NICE – or the National Institute of Care and Excellence – is the official advisory board for the NHS. They prepare guidelines for care in all situations, for all conditions. They also have graded scale of “frailty”, ranging from 1 “perfectly healthy” to 9 “terminally ill”.

Back in March they prepared their initial guidelines for dealing with Covid19 patients (they have been regularly updated since). Troublingly, these guidelines state:

Sensitively discuss a possible ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ decision with all adults with capacity and an assessment suggestive of increased frailty (for example, a CFS score of 5 or more)

For your reference, on their “frailty scale” lists a CFS score of 5 as “mildly frail”. Is the NHS really recommending DNRs for absolutely anyone who is “mildly frail”? It seems so.

This goes hand-in-hand with numerous anecdotal reports of coerced signings, or even DNRs being added to a patient’s file in secret. Some GP surgeries have been sending out letters instructing terminally ill patients to sign DNRs, and that they will not be admitted to hospitals if they become seriously ill.

Worse, carers are reporting that those with learning difficulties are signing “unprecedented” numbers of DNRs, many of them unlawful. In early April, an autistic persons’ group in Somerset was told they all needed to sign DNR forms.

Similar situations have been reported by the “undercover nurse” in the US, and nursing homes in Canada.

We believe this is a big story, and will be doing more on it in the coming days.