Advanced Care Planning (ACP)

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1 min 48 sec
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An Advanced Care Plan often called an ACP is a very particular kind of plan. It is drawn up well in advance of end of life care, with the full consent of the patient and their carers, when appropriate, and is for use only if they are no longer able to speak for themselves. For example, if a situation arises where the patient cannot say what they want, what is written in the plan then comes into force and is used to make decisions on their behalf. It is therefore important that anyone who may find themselves in that position is aware of such things as an advanced care plan, what it constitutes and what can be incorporated into it. An example could be the fact that the patient has been diagnosed with dementia and realise that eventually, they will lose the mental capacity to be able to make rational decisions. In a case such as this, they create an ACP stating that, for example, should the dementia mean they lose mental capacity, they do not want to be admitted to hospital at the end of their life, and want to die at home.

In the plan, the patient may talk about the kinds of treatment, if any, they wish to be given. During the planning process, they may wish to talk about how they want to be treated as they die, for example following their individual religious or cultural beliefs. The plan can, of course, be amended at any time, but only by the particular person to whom the plan relates. It cannot be amended without their wishes, by either a member of the care profession or by the family. An advanced care plan may be recorded in any format that the person wishes, including a letter, an audio recording or a video.