Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to launch a public inquiry into the use of Do Not Attempt CPR (DNACPR) orders during the pandemic.
The call from the Care Campaign for the Vulnerable (CCFTV) follows a CQC report last week which found that COVID pressures led to the blanket use of DNACPR orders.
The CQC report revealed that 508 out of 9,679 adult social care providers had DNACPR orders in place during the pandemic but CCFTV believes the real number to be in the thousands.
Jayne Connery, chair of CCFTV, told The Mirror: “Since March, our organisation alone has dealt with 103 complaints about the misuse of DNR. Other groups have had hundreds of enquiries.
“Clearly, the 508 figure appears to be vastly underestimated. The only way to know the true scale is to have a public inquiry.”
Kim Harrison, public inquiry specialist at Slater and Gordon, said: “DNR orders being placed on individuals without their consent and the agreement of the families is a serious breach of human rights.”
A DHSC spokesperson said: “It is totally unacceptable for ‘Do Not Attempt CPR’ orders to be applied in any kind of blanket fashion – this has never been policy and we have taken decisive action to prevent it from happening, working closely with the health and care sector to make this clear and asking the CQC to undertake this review.
“We support the recommendations in the CQC report and we are determined to ensure everyone receives the compassionate care they deserve in all settings.”