Meaningful conversations

Meaningful conversations with an individual, their families and / or legal proxy about their goals and preferences, are central to person-centred high quality Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP).

Good outcomes depend on professionals using sensitive and effective communication behaviours and clear language within a robust overall conversation framework. Wherever possible they should take place face-to-face. However the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it is also possible to use video (NHS Near Me) or phone. This is more likely to be acceptable if an established relationship exists between the person and the health or care professional.

The 6-step RED-MAP framework offers a helpful model to guide health and care professionals having care planning conversations. RED-MAP includes optional prompts for each step. These should be adapted to the individual and their situation.

  • Ready: Introduce ACP and outline why it helps people get better care
  • Expect: Find out what the person knows, and thinks might happen
  • Diagnosis: Share health information tailored to the person
  • Matters: Talk about what is important to the person and their family
  • Actions: Discuss realistic options for this person
  • Plan: Agree a plan that is right for this person

Further resources

There are a range of materials that you can access:

  1. Downloadable version of the RED-MAP framework.
  2. Video recording: Using RED-MAP - talking about planning care, death and dying using RED-MAP by Dr Kirsty Boyd. Produced by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
  3. NHS Education for Scotland has developed a range of training materials to support Realistic Medicine which aims to put the person at the centre of decisions made about their care.



  1. RED-MAP framework for ACP conversations used with permission from Dr Kirsty Boyd, Reader in Palliative Care, The University of Edinburgh.
  2. RED-MAP graphic developed by Openchange.

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