Advance care planning

CM Health introduced Advance Care Planning as a new health initiative which will be of benefit to patient care. Advance Care Planning has been introduced in:

  • Aged Related Residential Care in the Counties Manukau area;
  • Pukekohe Family Health Care and
  • 2 secondary care Wards, Wards 7 and 11 at Middlemore Hospital.

CM Health introduced Advance Care Planning into further secondary settings towards the end of March 2012.

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning is a process involving shared decision between a person, their family/whaanau and health professional about end of life care and treatment. By exploring ones values, beliefs and views on care and treatment, the person can record their preferences for future care in an Advance Care Plan. If the person were subsequently unable to participate in medical treatment decision making, their Advance Care Plan can be actioned with the support of the person they have identified as their Enduring Power of Attorney (care and welfare).

This Advance Care Plan should be shared with family/whanau so that they are aware of their loved one's views on the care and treatment they would want to receive if they were unable to communicate this for themselves. The aim of Advance Care Planning is to inform the patient sufficiently about their condition and treatment options and prognosis so that they are in control of the decisions made about their care when they are confronted with a terminal illness or a severe chronic medical condition such as COPD or congestive heart failure.

Why are we offering Advance Care Planning to our patients?

Advance Care Planning is viewed as integral to good quality care and delivery is particularly relevant today with better informed communities about their rights to take part in decision making and their right to refuse treatment. Advance Care Planning provides a sense of control and comfort to patients knowing that when they are unable to take part in medical decision making their Advance Care Plan can speak for them. It can be reassuring for health teams when they know a person's views for care and treatment and are able to take these into account when planning treatment. Advance Care Planning helps reduce the stress and burden often placed on families when treatment decisions have to be made for their loved ones.

Who can make an Advance Care Plan?

Advance Care Planning is currently being offered to adults who are deemed medically competent across all sites where Advance Care Planning has been implemented.

What do we want to offer our patients in the longer-term?

CM Health aims to implement Advance Care Planning in the longer-term across all health care settings. We want to offer Advance Care Planning to ensure that we offer patient centred health care when treatment decisions are made between patients and their health teams.