Title : What are my options? Can i have a say in my future care? What will happen if I cannot speak for myself?
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a voluntary discussion between an individual and their care providers, it is a patient led, patient driven process and the resulting ACP document is a patient held record. Families and those important to the patient are encouraged to be involved in these discussions subject to patient consent. Discussions are structured and documented to produce an advance care plan. Patients are advised to share the existence and/or the content of the ACP with those important to them and/or healthcare professionals. The primary purpose of the ACP process is to identify and document a person’s wishes and preferences for future care. The resulting ACP document comes into its own if the patient loses the capacity or capability to speak for their self due to disease progression. It is important to inform patients of the opportunity to participate in advance care planning discussions and to be able to express their wishes and preferences for future care, many patients and their families do not realise they have this option. There are many ACP document templates developed by notable organisations and widely available on the internet. There is little published evidence to say any one ACP is better than another, and the choice of document is open to the individual or organisation. Patients that have engaged in ACP discussions tell us that it brings them “Peace of Mind” and that they feel more relaxed having “Aired all my worries and concerns” Healthcare professionals report that documenting the patient’s wishes and preferences “Empowers them to deliver best possible care in line with what the patient wanted” Advance Care Planning can benefit patients their families and those important to them, benefits for healthcare professionals include improved team working, communication skills and increased satisfaction with care, therefore a positive impact on service quality is likely.
Audience Take Away:
• Advance Care Planning and Choice - for the patients and those important to them.
• Advance Care Planning introducing a sense of autonomy, often lost in the disease process.
• Advance Care Planning and peace of mind for the patient, the family and healthcare professionals.
The audience could:
• Encourage others to discuss their worries and concerns with a view to planning for the future.
• Raise awareness of the use of structured discussions to explore realistic wishes and preferences for future care.
• Increase their knowledge of the value of documenting wishes and preferences for future care and sharing this with those important to them and their healthcare professionals.
• Have an improved perspective on the issues surrounding capacity and capability the role of the ACP as the patient’s voice.
How might this help?
• Support the introduction of an ACP discussion opportunity for patients to explore worries and concerns for the future: “I don’t want to be a burden”.
• Empower the healthcare professional to deliver tailored healthcare in line with the patient’s wishes and preferences where possible.
• Improve service quality and reduce complaints about end of life care issues.