Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning in Kent, Surrey and Sussex: A Report and Recommendations from the South East Clinical Senate

South East Clinical Senate (SECS) has launched an important publication entitled ‘Improving Advance Care Planning in Kent, Surrey and Sussex’. This publication has been written for a wide audience, including, health and social care professionals, organisations responsible for education and training of health and care staff, commissioners, the community and voluntary sector, and public and patient engagement organisations.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a vital component of end of life care planning, and is appropriate to consider for a wide range of patients (particularly those with progressive chronic conditions or at risk of acute deteriorations in health) as well as the public. It is the process of discussion to help a person decide on their future care whilst they have the mental capacity to do so.

Our publication summarises the benefits of ACP, explores the current barriers to its greater uptake, and provides a wide range of recommendations to enable its greater use, and has been informed by a literature review, a clinical senate working group and a regional summit held in May 2014, which was attended by a wide range of stakeholders including patients and the public.

Our publication endeavours to provide a clear and pragmatic guide as to how this can be achieved. There is a real opportunity to increase the use of ACP to ensure that it is fully integrated into high quality, patient-centered care across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Simon Chapman, Director of Policy, Intelligence and Public Affairs at the National Council for Palliative Care said:

“Too many people still aren’t talking about or getting their end of life wishes met, which is why we welcome this important new publication. Planning ahead makes it more likely you will be able to get the care and support that is right for you, and we fully support the emphasis that the South East Clinical Senate are putting on raising awareness about the importance of Advance Care Planning. There needs to be radical change so that everyone approaching the end of life is offered Advance Care Planning as an integral part of their care.”

If you would like to discuss the document or require any further information, please contact Ali Parsons, Clinical Senate Manager at aliparsons@nhs.net