Universal Principles for Advance Care Planning

The Universal Principles for Advance Care Planning has been jointly published by a coalition of 28 partner organisations, in response to the Care Quality Commission report ‘Protect, Connect, Respect – decisions about living and dying well’ (2021). We are pleased to be one of the 28 named organisations who have supported the development of, and contributed towards, this publication.

This document is for the person, those important to them, practitioners and organisations involved in supporting advance care planning conversations and honouring their outcomes. It sets out six high level principles for advance care planning in England.  

  1. The person is central to developing and agreeing their advance care plan including deciding who else should be involved in the process. 
  2. The person has personalised conversations about their future care focused on what matters to them and their needs. 
  3. The person agrees the outcomes of their advance care planning conversation through a shared decision making process in partnership with relevant professionals. 
  4. The person has a shareable advance care plan which records what matters to them, and their preferences and decisions about future care and treatment. 
  5. The person has the opportunity, and is encouraged, to review and revise their advance care plan. 
  6. Anyone involved in advance care planning is able to speak up if they feel that these universal principles are not being followed. 

The publication also includes a supporting foreword from Maria Caulfield MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Primary Care and Patient Safety, in her role as the Ministerial Oversight Group Chair, who says “By unifying the approach to advance care planning conversations, including DNACPR decisions, we can ensure that people are supported as partners in their personalised care across the health and social care system.

Please do join the NHS England and NHS Improvement national webinar on Thursday 3 March, 4-5pm, which will focus on advance care planning and personalised care and support planning and allow the opportunity for any questions you may have around this publication. If you are not already registered, please email england.palliativeandendoflife@nhs.net for an invite. 

The link to register for this webinar is here.

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