Advanced care planning

Many of our customers ask us “What is an advance care plan?” Advance Care Plans are there to help inform your family, and other healthcare professionals about your care wishes at a time when you may be too sick to make decisions for yourself. It may contain your personal or religious beliefs, your cultural values and your wishes about future medical treatments or interventions.

Do I have to have an Advance Care Plan?

No, it is not essential. 

What is the benefit of advance care planning?

They simply give you reassurance that you have a voice about your care at a time you may not be able to communicate your wishes. Not only this, but it gives your family and other medical professionals confidence that the decisions they may have to make on your behalf are inline with your wishes.

Examples of what an Advance Care Plan might contain.
  • Where you are cared for. For example, your own home or hospice. 
  • How you like to do things. For example, you might to fall asleep with music on, or you might prefer to sit in the lounge next to the window.
  • Your religious beliefs.
  • Who you want or do not want involved in your care or everyday lives.
  • Who your power of attorney is
Can I choose to stop treatments I don’t want?

Yes, advanced care planning does allow you to stop treatment. This referred to as an ‘Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment’ (ADRT). It’s important to know that an ADRT can’t include a request to end your life. But always discuss this with your doctors first so that you are fully informed about the pro’s and cons.

How do I write an Advance Care Plan?

You can fill out an Advance Care Plan on your own, but always discuss your decisions with your family and doctors so that you are fully informed and understand any consequences of your decisions. The Compassion in Dying’s website have a great  free MyDecisions tool that takes you through questions and scenarios to get you thinking about what’s most important to you. It then generates a legal document laying out your wishes for treatment and care for you to print, sign, witness, and share.

Once you’ve created your Advance Care Plan it should be added to your medical notes, so that anyone involved in your care is aware of your wishes.

Will I definitely be cared for in the way I ask?

An Advance Care Plan isn’t legally binding. In some cases, it may not be possible to follow your wishes. For example, you may prefer to be cared for at home, but then develop a new symptom that can only be managed in hospital. 

An ADRT however, can be legally binding.

Can I change my Advance Care Plan?

Yes. Anytime you like. In fact, it’s very common to make changes as your needs change.

So if you have wondered, “what is an advance care plan?”. Or if you would like more information about care, talk to us today. 

What is an advance care plan?


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