A new procedure has been introduced at Basingstoke’s hospital which lets people have a say in the level of care they receive in an emergency in advance.
The ReSPECT process sees a person and their health professionals draw up a plan covering which treatments they may or may not want.
This is put onto a ReSPECT form, which the person keeps with them so in the event of an emergency decisions on care and treatment can be made quickly.
The idea was praised by Alton resident Roy Ford, who has first-hand experience of the difference considering your options in advance can make following the death of his wife Janet earlier this year.
Janet had been diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer and found herself unable to move.
However the ambulance crew made the decision for Janet to stay at home so she could spend her final days there, and she passed away a week later.
Roy said: “We had never talked much about what we might like to have happen at the end of our lives.
“It was luck and compassion that meant the ambulance crew made the decision for Janet to stay at home.
“Had Janet thought about this in advance, I know that this is what she would have wanted.”
Anyone can start the ReSPECT process, but is likely to be particularly relevant for people with complex health needs or nearing the end of their lives.
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “ReSPECT will help to ensure that patients receive the treatment that is right form them and make it easier for healthcare professionals to make the most appropriate decisions.”