New guide helps people plan for end of life

1 February 2012
An updated booklet published by the National End of Life Care Programme in association with Dying Matters and the University of Nottingham supports people in shaping the care they receive at the end of their life.

'Planning for your future care – a guide', outlines issues people may wantNew guide to end of life planning to consider when planning ahead for their end of life care.

Published on Dignity Action Day, the guide provides practical advice on advance care planning (ACP) with health and social care professionals, carers or family.

ACP can cover everything from comparatively minor concerns - such as whether someone prefers a bath or shower - to major decisions around refusing life-saving treatment or where someone would like to be cared for at the end of life.

The guide stresses that with particularly significant decisions, such as refusal of a specific treatment in the future, certain procedures must be followed. It also advises that these discussions can be on-going, with care plans and decisions amended if the patient changes their mind on any issue.

Eve Richardson, chief executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition, emphasised the need for openess about end of life wishes.

She said: “Talking openly about dying and planning ahead can make a really positive difference to the quality of care and support that people receive at the end of their lives.

“It is absolutely essential to involve people approaching the end of their life in decisions about their care, so that wherever possible their wishes are met.” 

Eleanor Sherwen, national programme manager with the National End of Life Care Programme, said it was particularly appropriate that the updated version of the guide was published on Dignity Action Day.

“When considering dignity in care, it is vital that each individual has the opportunity to discuss what it is that is important to them," she said.

"It is imperative that health and social care professionals are aware of what really matters to someone, including where and how they would prefer to be cared for. Only then can they deliver true person-centred, dignified care.”

More

Download the guide for free from the National End of Life Care Programme website

Free hard copies are available by emailing information@eolc.nhs.uk 

For more about Dignity Action Day, visit www.dignityincare.org.uk

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