Dr Shobhan Thakore on the ReSPECT public information campaign in NHS Tayside

Within NHS Tayside I am Associate Medical Lead for Quality Management, and Clinical Lead for Realistic Medicine. In our health board, a key Realistic Medicine project has commenced to test ReSPECT (Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment), which is a process that involves a conversation between patients and healthcare staff to create individualised recommendations for a person’s clinical treatment in an emergency situation where the patients is not able to decide for themselves or communicate their wishes.  This relates well to shared decision making and personalised care within the programme. This innovative, design led project has given us a simple and attractive product that can be used across many different healthcare settings.

The aim of the initial phase of the project is that by Jan 2022, 80% of patients (with their families input, if appropriate) admitted to Ward 3, Ninewells Hospital and Ward 4 Royal Victoria Hospital with palliative/end of life care needs will have a ReSPECT process in place.

As part of the project, NHS Tayside hosted two design interns on a 12 week placement to support the development of a future Public Awareness Campaign for ReSPECT.

Justine Matthew and Alice Harper who were studying Design for Business at the University of Dundee joined the team over the summer to support this important piece of work.

The students wanted to gain an understanding of ReSPECT; who would be using it and used a number of different frameworks to understand this fully, plus engage with a variety of different stakeholders.

By using their expert skills in design thinking methods, they were able to take up the initial campaign goals and create initial prototypes.  Conducting focus groups with both staff and NHS Tayside Public Partners allowed the students to explore what different words mean to people. Feedback was key in the development of the resources.

Alice and Justine utilised the information from the National ReSPECT campaign alongside their research and feedback to create three prototype posters and a patient information leaflet to support the campaign. Personas were integrated into the leaflets with quotes to support connection on a more personal level and the colour theme of purple and yellow was used as a visual aid to support the identification of the ReSPECT form in line with the colours used within the national ReSPECT logo.

The patient information leaflet also contains each step of ReSPECT process including quotes from NHS Tayside Public Partners and includes an example of what the ReSPECT form looks like and the different sections that are covered within this.

By developing, testing and implementing ReSPECT 3 with supporting guidance for staff including educational sessions to support consistent conversations with patients, the wishes of the patient/families should be met.

Donna Kelbie, Patient Safety Improvement Advisor has been leading on the ReSPECT journey throughout Tayside said As a team we were in awe of the work Justine and Alice completed.  The rigour with which they applied the tools and the knowledge and skills they demonstrated were far above what we expected. We learned so much from working with the students, and it has been a very positive experience for us”.


Justine Mathew: “This project has shown me what human centred design is, the impact it can have and its necessity for innovation in healthcare”.