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Advance Care Planning (ACP)

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a discussion between a person and their health care provider which can help them prepare for the future.  People usually have these discussions because they have a health condition that is expected to get worse and they want to plan for this. When a person's health worsens, they may lose capacity or become unable to say what their wishes and preferences for future medical care and treatment are.

Advance Care Planning is voluntary, so a person doesn't have to make any plans for their future care unless they wish to do so. However, talking and recording their wishes in advance means that their wishes are more likely to be known by others and followed if they are unable to make decisions for themselves.

Advance Care Planning gives a person an opportunity to think about, talk to others and write down any preferences and priorities they may have for their future medical care and treatment. This can include how and where they may wish to be cared for towards the end of their life. 


An Advance Statement: ('What you want to happen')  is an expression (written and/or recorded verbal) of a person's general preferences and wishes about future care and treatment.  It can cover medical and non-medical matters. It can be used for a person to explain their thoughts, beliefs and values about how they make decisions which can be used in making decisions if they lose capacity to tell us about their wishes for care.  An Advance Statement is not legally binding but allows the person to make their wishes and preferences known and will be taken into account by the health care professionals.


An Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT) ('What you don't want to happen') This is sometimes called a 'Living Will' or an 'Advance Directive' and is a record of a person's refusal to have a specific medical treatment in the future. An ADRT is legally binding in England and Wales and should be written and signed by the person with two witnesses present. The ADRT is only relevant if the person loses capacity or is unable to express their wishes and preferences. 

For more information please download this patient leaflet.


Preferred Priorities of Care is a document for you to write down what your wishes and preferences are during your last year or months of your life. Please follow this link.  


Advance Care Planning Clinic

The Supportive and Palliative Care team hold a weekly outpatient clinic where patients can discuss and plan their future care. An appointment can be made by a person's GP or a member of hospital staff. 


For further help and information

NHS Choices - Planning Ahead 

Planning Your Future Care - A Guide This booklet gives you more information about advanced care planning.