We have developed a guide for planning for the last days of life in response to requests from patients and their families to have a cohesive guide covering choices for end of life care.
We find that there is no ideal point in a person’s illness to raise this, and this is very much dependent on the individual patient. Raising the subject of advance care planning does involve considerable skill on behalf of the healthcare professional and is ideally done where a relationship of trust has been developed with the patient. Often the process is in a number of stages and leaving a booklet in the house for the patient and family to look at in their own time may be appropriate. Patients and their families should not be pressurised into doing advance care planning, but equally we believe that patients should be given an opportunity to plan for their future, thus retaining some degree of control over their lives.
St. Peter’s Hospice and North Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group are both using this document with their own patients. Copies can be purchased from Weston Hospicecare or simple print outs run from the download to the right.
We have also developed a document to facilitate decision-making for care of patients lacking capacity. The document aims to bring together relevant carers, family and healthcare professionals to share information which can help with making a ‘best interests’ decision. This can be extremely useful if a crisis arises to help direct the most appropriate management.
You may also find our educational video useful; it looks at End of Life Care and practicalities of use of Advance Care Planning:
If you would like some booklets to hand out to your patients, they can be purchased from us at a cost of £5 per booklet. Please contact us using the form below if you would like to order copies.