ADVANCE CARE PLANNING (ACP)

 

We are finding that more and more people want to make some kind of advance care plan – what is sometimes called a ‘Living Will’.  This is a document intended to be used if a person becomes unable to make decisions for him/herself.

Many people write a simple Statement of Wishes and Care Preferences (SWACP)  including:

  • How much information they would like to receive about their condition.  (Some people want facts, figures and survival rates.  Others prefer to leave decisions to professionals or family members)
  • Where they would prefer to be cared for (Eg: home, hospital, nursing home, etc)
  • Who they would like health professionals to consult about their care (Eg: relative, friend)
  • General thoughts on treatment they would want and not want.  They might state for example that they would want only symptom relief if they were seriously ill.  Some people use a SWACP to make it clear they do want active treatment

People who have very strong feelings about not wanting a specific type of treatment, can make what is known as an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT).  If this is written correctly, it is a legally binding document.  It is quite simple to do and does not normally require legal advice.

It is also possible to grant ‘lasting power of attorney for health and welfare matters’ to someone you trust.  This is legal document that gives the person appointed the same rights as the person they are representing to consent to or refuse treatment.

The Paul Sartori Foundation has staff who can provide assistance with Advance Care Planning, but we would recommend that you do some reading first.  Good sources of information are:

Examples of completed ACPs, using Hywel Dda University Health Board documentation:

Keith Smith

Ann Other

Jean Brodie

‘Planning for your future care’  – a useful booklet on ACP produced by the NHS

The Dying Matters website has all sorts of interesting videos, articles and publications

If you want to speak to someone in Paul Sartori Foundation about ACP then please contact the clinical team on 01437 763223 or clinicteam@paulsartori.org

Please click here for more information about our ACP volunteer project

And click here to see the handbook for an ACP project we are running with care homes