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Strengthen 'do not resuscitate' laws to protect carers, GMB tells ministers

07 Jun 2021
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GMB care members threatened with dismissal if they don’t ignore existing DNR order, GMB Congress hears

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) laws must be strengthened to protect carers, GMB Congress said today.

A motion, passed at the union’s annual policy-making conference, said the law as it stands is ambiguous and needs clarification.

GMB has had reports from members in which management instructions to staff working in care homes or residential facilities were to over-rule an existing live DNR order - demanding staff resuscitate patients in all cases, regardless of an existing DNR.

Such situations cause members a great deal of stress and appear illegal.

GMB’s 103rd annual congress, where the lay member, ruling body of GMB decides GMB policy is taking place online this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

Kelly Andrews, GMB Care Lead, said:

"Lack of clarity on DNR orders have been a cause for concern for care workers throughout the pandemic.

“During the past 18 months many GMB care members caring for those that have been placed on a DNR order have been overruled by employers.

“Members have been overwhelmed by the pressure as their employer threatens them with dismissal if they didn’t go against an existing DNR order in place.

“It’s not good enough. GMB is calling for clarity to strengthen the legal protection of those that have to carry out these instructions.”

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