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Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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About: NHS Lanarkshire

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Did You Know?

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Without Power of Attorney in place, you, or someone you love will spend on average four months longer in hospital if you lose capacity.

If you become unable to make decisions for yourself because of illness or injury for example, no-one else can make decisions for you. Appointing someone you trust Power of Attorney allows that person to make decisions on your behalf.

Power of Attorney can cover your financial affairs (managing your bank account) and your welfare (deciding where you will live if you are no longer able to decide for yourself).

By taking action and appointing Power of Attorney, you will give yourself peace of mind and protect yourself and those closest to you by granting them legal powers to act on your behalf if something were to happen to you.

One of the key elements of person-centred care is making sure that we have asked you about the people that matter most in your life and we have given you the opportunity to involve them in the way that you choose.

NHS Lanarkshire is part of a national campaign to encourage people to give themselves peace of mind by thinking about their future health, social and personal care.

Along with its partners North and South Lanarkshire Councils, the health board is encouraging everyone to start the conversation about Anticipatory Care Planning (ACP) and Power of Attorney (POA).

An Anticipatory Care Plan is a document compiled by an individual to record how they would like to be cared for in the event of them becoming ill and not being able to communicate with family or friends. The plan is a record of the conversation between the individual and their loved ones which maps out that person’s wishes and choices should they be faced with a situation where they are unable to communicate these.

Power of Attorney is a legally binding document which gives someone you trust the ability to manage your financial and personal welfare affairs in your best interests.

Both ACP and POA are about giving people greater choice and control over their future care and support and we’d encourage everyone to have a conversation with their loved ones about how they would like their affairs to be handled in the event of any unexpected event that could leave them unable to communicate their wishes.

We all hope for the best for ourselves and loved ones, but unexpected events can happen and having an ACP and POA in place can make such a situation that bit more manageable for everyone involved.

Having an ACP and POA in place will also give you peace of mind that your care and personal affairs will be looked after in the way you want. Your ACP can be amended at anytime if you change your mind.

To find out more about ACP and POA, visit: www.mypowerofattorney.org.uk

Kind regards

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Response from Ian Reeves, Consultant Physician, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde on

I agree with this and would like to give you an anonymised example.

One of my patients was admitted with a big stroke and little chance of recovery back to an independent life.

Two members of her family hold Welfare Power of Attorney for her, and after it was clear she was't improving we discussed her care wishes, and what she would have wanted in this situation, as she was unable to speak for herself.

Although she didn't have a formal written advance directive, she had made it clear to her family that she did not want to be resuscitated and live in a very disabled condition.

As a result we were able to adopt a palliative approach to her care much earlier than we would normally have been able to, and she died peacefully with her family in attendance, and in the manner she wanted.

Response from Janette Barrie, Nurse Consultant, Long Term Conditions, NHS Lanarkshire on

Thank you for sharing this Ian.  Your example demonstrates the importance of having the ACP conversation and POA in place.

Best wishes, 

Janette

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