Planning and Critical Practice
It is important to recognise that there are challenges to effective ACP in the health and social care sectors and wider community. These challenges may include:

  1. time constraints on health and care professionals which can influence their ability to initiate ACP conversations and may impact on the quality of any discussions because ACP requires preparation and planning by health and care professionals. It is important to recognise that discussions should take place in appropriate settings, with sufficient time to clarify a person’s understanding and consider different options.
  2. the person, family or health and care professionals feeling uncomfortable talking about end of life issues or assuming that ACP is only about end of life care.
  3. lack of awareness of their right to participate actively in treatment decision-making or preferring their doctors to lead the medical decision-making may make people less inclined or less willing to engage in the ACP process.
  4. fear about being unable to change their minds once treatment preferences are documented. Therefore, it is always important to explain to the person that they have the right to change their mind about treatment preferences at any time. Health and care professionals play a crucial role in empowering the person to review and revise their Anticipatory Care Plan to ensure that their wishes remain current and up to date.
  5. lack of awareness about ACP and Advance Directives, or the medical implications of their documented preferences.

People Requiring Special Considerations

Effective ACP depends on the person being able to communicate with health and care professionals and to make choices and decisions about their future care and treatment

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