DNR - Central Registration?

Norman’s posting earlier today reminded me of a question I wanted to ask re. DNRs!

My mother’s DNR document is kept in her file in the care home. What would be the situation if “the worst” happened whilst we were out and about? Would a hospital find it on her electronic records? Would my word be good enough?

When mum was having a series of fairly serious hospital investigations last Spring the care home did say to me that the DNR should accompany us whenever she left the building, but - to be honest - I really don’t want to have to be thinking about getting that from the office for every sociable outing!


Hi Pennie.

No central register according to an Internet search … just a vague reference on the Compassion In Dying web site :


A DNAR form will then be added to your medical records to reflect this.

You must be told if this is the case.

If you lack capacity to make a decision, for example if you’re unconscious, and it’s decided that CPR won’t be attempted if your heart and breathing stop, then your healthcare team should discuss this decision with your family.

It would follow that this could well be a minefield … where , and to whom , the location of such a document is best recorded ?

There must surely be some " Interesting " … and tragic cases … out there ?

Answers on a postcard accepted.

Penny, I think that is true, if your Mum needed an ambulance/paramedic whilst out and about - wouldn’t they would have to resuscitate unless you were able to produce the DNR?

Definitely one to research, to be sure.


Bump Chris.

I can only speak for what happens here in Hampshire.
When mum went into the nursing home, a DNR had already been agreed with the hospital, the phrase “letting nature take it’s course” had been used.
The GP then did a “Critical Illness form” which included all the details of mums medical problems, 28 different things in all!

they kept a record of,

the home,

AND A COPY WENT TO THE AMBULANCE SERVICE. It also said that mum never ever wanted to go back into hospital again, she’d simply had enough by then.
This meant that everyone could be certain of what mum’s wishes were.

We have one in place for hubby and it has to accompany us at all times. As it happens we have only managed to get him out of the home three times in last 12 months. We now have a wheelchair for him and even if manage to get him out in future for a walk in local park, his DNR forms must come with us. Ambulance/medical staff will never take a families word, has to be that paper trail.

We also now have an Urgent Care Plan in place. This means unless it was absolutely a necessity or if hubby say broke a bone, he will no longer be taken to hospital but treat at the home with help from outside medical teams too. The distress caused to him of going into hospital was far worse than the reasons he was admitted. He is far more comfortable with staff that know him, know his needs and as the home provides EMI nursing, most medical needs can be met too.


Thanks for all your replies - seems like the subject is a total minefield!

I’m hoping that perhaps as mum filled it in in conjunction with her GP, then a copy will be held at the local medical practice. Just the practicalities (never mind “emotional” side) of getting hold of it each time we go out would be quite challenging - the majority of the time there are no staff at the nurses station and trying to find someone can take ages!

Mum had a dnr from her doctors but the hospital filed it with her records. Later on, when we needed an ambulance the paramedic said he would have no option but to resuscitate since we didn’t have the paperwork for him to see.