Anticipatory Care Planning in the context of COVID-19

We have been working with the Scottish Government to develop a range of resources to support health and social care staff undertake Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP) during COVID-19. These pages bring together a range of resources that have been developed since the outset of the pandemic in March 2020 and include:

  • guidance to support GP practices to review the increased number of Key Information Summaries since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • links to the Essential ACP - a tool to support rapid production and sharing of an ACP
  • guidance on developing anticipatory care plans for people with dementia, and
  • links to information for people on ACP in the context of COVID-19 published by NHS Inform.

These resources are intended to be used with health and social care staff, and are not designed for use by individuals and their families without support and guidance. 


Guidance to Primary Care on the update of Key Information Summaries

The Key Information Summary (KIS) remains the best way to share ACP information electronically between health professionals within Scotland. The KIS is created within the GP clinical systems and can be accessed by professionals working within NHS24, GP out-of-hours services, Scottish Ambulance Service, Emergency Departments in acute hospitals, and other providers of unscheduled healthcare.

In the year following the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of KIS increased from 250,000 to 1.7 million. Over 30% of the Scottish population now has a KIS. Keeping these up to date is a logistical challenge for primary care teams. In November 2021 we have updated guidance to support GP practices on how to prioritise the review and update of their KIS for their practice.


Essential ACP

The Essential ACP tool was created during the COVID-19 pandemic to document important information about preferences for care and those that should be involved in decisions about care in the event of a serious illness.

Find out more on our Essential ACP page.


ACP guidance for people with Dementia

This letter from the Chief Medical Officer circulated on 11 September 2020 details guidance on ACP for people with Dementia.


Information and guidance for citizens

You can find further information for citizens on ACP in the context of COVID-19 on the NHS Inform website Coronavirus (COVID-19): Making a plan for your care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get in touch

If you have tools or resources that have supported you in preparing for and undertaking ACP, or you want to provide feedback, please get in touch by emailing us at