Patients & Visitors

Care of the Dying

Advance Care Planning


Advance care planning is a term used to describe the discussions that we have to support patients with a life limiting condition and their families to consider their wishes and preferences for the future.

We all deserve the opportunity to prepare for the realities of advancing disease and declining health. In life we prepare for many things – birth, education, marriage and retirement. We may also wish to prepare for a time of failing health and approaching end of life. There may also come a time when we lose our capacity to make decisions and would want our wishes known.

It can be difficult to discuss such issues, but for some patients and families this may be very important.

Some patients may have had the opportunity to express and possibly document their wishes and preferences around their care when they are dying – this is known as an Advance Statement of Wishes or Advance Care Plan. Furthermore some patients may have made clear decisions about what they do not want to happen in hospital if they lose the ability to express their wishes. This is known as an 'Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment', previously known as a 'Living Will'.

If these wishes are known about, please inform a member of staff. Sometimes the staff may be already aware.

If you wish to make an Advance Care Plan and require advice and support with this, then please feel that you can approach your GP or hospital consultant, or nurse specialist and district nurse if known to you.

Leaflets to support Advance Care Planning