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Anticipatory Care Planning - are you planning for the future?

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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About: NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Jean Donaldson


Anticipatory Care Planning is a person-centred, “thinking ahead” approach, where individuals and their carers are encouraged and supported to set agreed personal goals to ensure that the right thing is done, at the right time, by the right person, to achieve the right outcome.  This way of working provides opportunities to improve health literacy and understand personal health and care issues, circumstances and outcomes; enabling informed decision- making and expression of preferences.

It’s never too early to start talking about life preferences or choices with your loved ones. If you, or someone you know:

  • is house bound long term
  • is in receipt of a complex care package
  • is resident in, or has been admitted to, a care home
  • has been in hospital unexpectedly
  • has frequent contacts with Out of Hours services
  • is in receipt of respite care
  • is admitted or transferred to a community hospital
  • has had a carer assessment or identified carer stress

it might be a good time to consider talking about an Anticipatory Care Plan.

NHS Lanarkshire has been delivering an education and awareness programme with staff throughout acute and community settings, including care homes over the past few years to promote and encourage Anticipatory Care Planning. Our aim is to invite and encourage people with a long- term condition to consider what they want as part of their treatment and ongoing care and to record that in an Anticipatory Care Plan which they can share with healthcare providers. This can range from a self-management plan through to end-of-life care.

This planning enables meaningful discussion and relevant recording of future healthcare wishes and preferences before any deterioration of health.   Anticipatory Care Planning gives people the opportunity to make informed choices about their own health and wellbeing and discuss any concerns with those close to them or involved in their care.

It’s important to realise that an Anticipatory Care Plan belongs to the person and is kept by them so they are able to adjust it when and as they wish. This ensures they can convey their current wishes to healthcare staff. Please let your GP, District Nurse or other healthcare staff know if you have one.

An Anticipatory Care Plan can:

  • help empower people to be aware of their own health needs and choices in care: help give individuals and carers the knowledge and skills they need to understand their condition, early indications of change and the effects on their general health and wellbeing
  • support individuals and carers to make decisions that are important to them and to become more involved in planning and decision-making about their treatment and care

If you have a long term condition and consider an Anticipatory Care Plan to be right for you, or if you’d like more information please speak to your doctor or nurse.  You can find out more about ACP and Power of Attorney via this link:

If you have an experience of NHS Lanarkshire Services you would like to share, please speak to a member of staff, respond on Care Opinion, or visit the “Your Feedback” Section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch

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