Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“The letter sent to vulnerable patients, many of whom will be older people, by the Llynfi Surgery in Bridgend has caused significant worry and upset, and I’m shocked that it was even written, let alone sent out.
“Many of those who will have received the letter will no doubt have been left feeling worthless, that their lives do not matter and will have felt significant pressure to sign a DNACPR form. This is shameful and unacceptable.
“Whilst difficult and painful decisions will need to be made in the weeks ahead, these must be taken on a case-by-case basis, through honest discussions between patients, doctors and their families that consider risks and benefits, as well as people’s own wishes.
“At this difficult time, it is crucial that we continue to protect people’s fundamental human rights. It would be completely unacceptable to abandon these rights in favour of taking blanket, discriminatory decisions.
“I welcome the fact that the surgery and the health board has apologised to the patients affected, and I hope this awful situation will lead to stronger leadership and guidance, from health boards and the Welsh Government, to ensure that people’s rights are upheld and communication with vulnerable patients is handled in a far more sensitive way as we navigate the difficult path ahead.”