Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP)

Supporting people to plan ahead and discuss their wishes for future care.

ACP is a person-centred approach to help people to plan for their future.

Please note: The information on this page, and the other ACP pages on the ihub website, was created before the COVID-19 outbreak and relates to many different care circumstances.

The essence of ACP is to encourage individuals to think ahead to help ensure that in the event of a change in their health or care needs, including loss of capacity, the right thing is done at the right time by the right person with the right outcome.

ACP can benefit many individuals, from those with early onset of long-term conditions to people with chronic and complex illnesses, to plan ahead for care needs. ACP can be beneficial to individuals towards the end of their life, however the process can be more effective if started earlier in their journey.


ACP has several expected benefits, which include:

  • increasing patient autonomy and shared decision making through early conversations and planning ahead
  • reducing unscheduled hospital admissions
  • reducing inappropriate interventions and repeated difficult conversations
  • improving quality of care at the end of life, and
  • enabling more people to die at their preferred place of death, leading to fewer deaths in hospital.


We developed a range of resources to support anticipatory care planning as part of our anticipatory care planning programme: