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MP tells PMQs about unsanctioned DNR death

18 June 2021

The MP for Peterborough Paul Bristow has told the Prime Minister about a patient who died as a direct result of her having a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation order (DNAR or DNR) placed on their records because they had learning disabilities and schizophrenia.

Addressing Prime Minister’s Question Time this week, he said that an unprecedented number of DNR orders were placed on patients with learning disabilities and mental illness last year, many were unlawful and caused avoidable deaths. Despite urgent CQC and NHS guidance, the practice has continued.

He told MPs that the patient’s learning disabilities and schizophrenia were stated as a reason for the DNR, and called for such cases to be independently investigated.

The Prime Minister agreed that DNR notices should only be placed on patients following a discussion with the patient and their carers and families.

DR UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “The CQC found around 500 cases in their investigations. We welcome Paul Bristow’s use of PMQs to bring this important issue directly and publicly to the Prime Minister. Going forward, we support his calls for independent investigations into any future individual cases.”