Planning ahead and making your wishes known

Planning ahead and making your wishes known

Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning involves discussions between you and a healthcare provider, e.g. a doctor, (family can join too) around any concerns and wishes for future care and treatments. This can then be documented and used in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions.

It is your chance to nominate family or friends to become involved in decisions, if necessary, on your behalf and make sure your wishes are known to those responsible for your care.

Statement of Wishes and Preferences

Although this is not legally binding it has to be taken into account under the Mental Capacity Act when others are making a judgment based on your best interest. Statements can include preferences on care and where they want to receive it and what is important to them.

Statements can be reviewed and changed.

We have blank statements available at the Hospice if you would like to look at one, and we are happy to discuss your wishes for the future and complete the statement with you if you wish.

Advance Decisions

The Advance Decision (also previously known as a Living Will or Advance Directive) allows you to provide instructions about your possible medical treatment, in case there comes a time when you are no longer capable of making decisions or of communicating these decisions to health care professionals.

What does it do?

Many people fear that, if they become ill, they could face a situation where they may be given treatment which would give little benefit.

An Advance Decision can show that in the future, under clearly defined circumstances, the patient does not want treatment such as resuscitation, tube feeding or being kept alive indefinitely on a life support machine, which may attempt to help him or her to live longer.

Is it legally binding?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 has determined that the refusals of treatment that are contained within a valid and applicable Advanced Decision document are legally binding.

To be valid and applicable it must be shown that:
• You are mentally capable,and are over 18 when you make the request
• You are fully informed about the nature and the consequence of the Advance Decision at the time it was made
• You are clear that the Advance Decision should apply to the situation or circumstance which may arise later
• You were not pressurised or influenced by anyone else when you made the decision
• The Advance Decision has not been changed either verbally or in writing since it was drawn up
• If life sustaining treatments are refused they are stated clearly in the document

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

Under the Mental Capacity Act, You can choose a person, ‘an attorney’ to take decisions on your behalf. It is a good idea to choose people who know you well.

If you would like an attorney, you need to complete a form and register it with the Office of the Public Guardian.

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney and you can have more than one attorney.

One LPA concerns personal welfare. These attorneys can only make a decision on your behalf if you lack the capacity to make a particular decision yourself. The other kind of LPA is for property and affairs and starts at the time of registration, unless you state otherwise.

All attorneys have to act in your best interest and within any restrictions and stated conditions.

For more information or to download the forms and supporting information visit:

publicguardian.gov.uk/forms/Making-an-LPA.htm
Or telephone: 0845 330 2900

Making a Will

Making a Will ensures your wishes are upheld and saves those who you love, going through sometimes very difficult and upsetting legal processors.

It is also very helpful to others, to list instructions which include details of your bank and building society accounts and where to find important documents.

Wills can be produced with or without the help of a solicitor.

Leaving a gift in your will is a great way to ensure that we can continue to make a difference, not only now, but in the future.

To find out more about leaving a gift in your will, please visit:

stelizabethhospice.org.uk/donate/make-a-gift-in-your-will
Or telephone: 01473 723600

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