Support and resources

Advance care planning conversations can be challenging for all involved, even for the most experienced doctor. This page signposts to some key resources that can help you in planning ahead in partnership with your patients.

Supporting your patient

One of the key barriers to having effective conversations about advance care planning are the preconceptions patients may have around advance care planning. When broaching these conversations you will want to ensure your patient understands what you mean by advance care planning, what sorts of decisions they can make, and what the benefits of discussing their wishes and preferences may be.

There are a range of resources available to support your patient understand what advance care planning involves and what it may mean for them. You may want to share some of these with your patient so they can review them at home or with those close to them.

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There are other resources available to support joint decision making between you and your patient. The NHS has developed a series of patient decision aids to assist patients in making decisions about various diseases or care options including:

Resources for you

We know that these discussions can be just as difficult for you as a doctor to raise, as they are for a patient and those close to them. “I find it difficult because I feel like it’s a failure intuitively.”

Advance care planning is about working in partnership with your patient to ensure they get the treatment and care they want, in the way they want it. Dying Matters have developed the and show what can happen if conversations do not take place.

If you want a refresher in advance care planning, you can complete the on e-Learning for Healthcare. is another useful resource that explains the key principles of advance care planning if you want a general overview.

The NHS have developed the to support any health or social care professional through the process of making care decisions in advance for people who may lose capacity in the future, or who do not have capacity to make decisions.

There are a range of resources available to support doctors and other healthcare professionals planning for future care with patients with specific conditions. A few are listed below but you may want to check whether there are others available that are relevant to your patient’s condition.

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You can also read our guidance on advance care planning which is covered in our end of life care guidance (paragraphs 50-62) and also our consent guidance (paragraphs 57-61).

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