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Anticipatory Care Planning

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

On Monday 12th June, the NHS Neuro nurse team joined Neuro Hebrides at Cuppa and Catch up to talk about Anticipatory Care Planning. There was also an online session on the 2nd August.

It's a subject none of us really want to talk about, but we all should. Whether you have a health condition or not, it's a good idea to think about what happens to you and how you are cared for, and what treatment you receive in a way that is important to you. Every one of us is different and so everyones ACP will be unique to each individual.

It can be a frightening subject to talk about planning for your future care if and when the time comes, but if approached in a positive way - it is about planning for living.

What is Anticipatory Care Planning?

Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP) is where you talk about what matters most when making plans for your care in the future.

Anticipatory Care Planning is about thinking ahead and understanding your health. It’s about knowing how to use services better and it helps you make choices about your future care.

Planning ahead can help you be more in control and able to manage any changes in your health and wellbeing. Many people with long term conditions or chronic health problems can benefit from having an Anticipatory Care Plan. You can find out more about ACP here: ACP .

When creating your ACP, there are a number of things to think about:

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney is someone who can speak on behalf of you if there is a time when you become unwell and are unable to communicate your wishes for some reason. Having a power of Attorney lets you plan what you want your chosen person to do for you in the future should you become incapable of making decisions about your own affairs. You can find out more about Power of Attorney here: What is a Power of Attorney (

Independent Advocacy

Independent advocacy helps people have a stronger voice and to have more control over their own lives. You can find out more about independent advocacy here: Home - Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (

Advance directive

Advance directive is a recorded statement that allows you to make a refusal of treatment or indicate your choice in advance of a time when you can't communicate your wishes, or don't have the mental capacity to make a decision. You can find out more about Advance Directive here: Advance statement – Compassion in Dying

For people with a Mental health condition

For people with a mental health condition, there are times when people are unwilling or unable to consent to or make decisions about their treatment. An advanced statement in these situations may be helpful, to enable you to state how you would like to be treated if you become unwell in the future. You can find out more here:

Key Summary information (KIS)

A key Information Summary can be completed with your GP, who will detail relevant details of your ACP in your electronic health record. With consent, these details can be shared with others involved in your care, such as the Scottish Ambulance service, GP out of hours, A&E and other healthcare professionals in the hospital who are involved in your care.

Making a will

Making a will enables you to make sure that people know your wishes when you pass away, and it makes it easier for family and friends to settle your affairs in a way you would want when the time comes. There are many ways to make a will, and you can find out more information here: Writing a will | Hospice UK

Organ donation

Organ donation is something many people wish to do as a way of helping others

You can find out more here: Home | Organ Donation Scotland

Funeral planning

Not everyone wants to plan their own funeral, but some people choose to plan what sort of funeral they would like, whether they want a burial or cremation, a service etc. You can find out more here: Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief :: Welcome (

Science? There are options such as donating your body to science. You can find out more:

Digital legacy

If you do anything on the internet, such as banking, shopping, social media, subscriptions, store photos etc, it is a good idea to think about making sure your accounts can be dealt with after you have gone. you can find out more here: Digital Legacy Association - Home

Life and situations change, so once you've planned your ACP, then it can be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it still meets your needs and wishes

If you would like more information about your ACP, or would find it helpful to talk to someone about it, please get in touch You can also ask your GP or Neuro nurse if you would like assistance or have any questions about your ACP.

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