Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, will be producing new guidance on ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ (DNR) procedures, following accusations of mixed messaging for care homes during the coronavirus outbreak. Two new documents will appear on the NHS website: one for doctors, and the other for patients and relatives.

A government spokesman said the forthcoming guidance was already in the process of being drawn up and was not in response to a legal threat from Kate Masters, winner of a judicial review of the DNR decision making process in 2014. Ms Masters’ legal team had threatened the government over its failure to provide consistent guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “We have made clear that it is completely unacceptable for DNR orders to be applied in a blanket fashion to any group of people.”