Joint statement on advance care planning

March 31, 2020

A joint statement on advance care planning has been released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Care Provider Alliance (CPA), British Medical Association (BMA) and Royal College of General Practice (RCGP).

The statement sets out and reaffirms guidelines on advance care planning, noting that plans should be individual and not applied to groups of people.

The joint statement on advance care planning accepts there is additional pressure on providers currently, but says, 'The importance of having a personalised care plan in place, especially for older people, people who are frail or have other serious conditions has never been more important than it is now during the Covid 19 Pandemic.

'Where a person has capacity, as defined by the Mental Capacity Act, this advance care plan should always be discussed with them directly.'

With regards to those who do not have mental capacity to decide on care plans for themselves, the statement suggests, 'It is reasonable to produce such a plan following best interest guidelines with the involvement of family members or other appropriate individuals.'

The statement is extremely clear on how advance care plans should be applied to people, expressing that decisions must be made on an individual basis:

'Advance care plans may result in the consideration and completion of a Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) or ReSPECT form. It remains essential that these decisions are made on an individual basis. The General Practitioner continues to have a central role in the consideration, completion and signing of DNAR forms for people in community settings.

'It is unacceptable for advance care plans, with or without DNAR form completion to be applied to groups of people of any description. These decisions must continue to be made on an individual basis according to need.'

More information and guidance on best practice for advance care planning is available on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE) website.

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