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Making plans for the future

Patient and Clinician talking

When someone has an incurable illness or is approaching the end of their life, it can be a good idea to make plans for care needed in the future.  Planning ahead in this way is sometimes called "advance care planning", and involves thinking and talking about what is important to you, what you want to make sure happens or doesn’t happen and how or where you might want to be cared for in the future.

People usually think about advance planning because they have a condition that is expected to get worse over time.  It provides a good opportunity to make sure the people important to them, as well as doctors and nurses; know how they want to be treated in case they are too unwell make decisions or their wishes known.  


Where can I get information about Advance Care Planning?

NHS Choices and Dying Matters have lots of information about what is involved.  Our staff  can support you in deciding what is important to you, talking about the future and what might happen with regards to your illness and treatments.  You can also talk to your District Nurse or GP.


Where can I get more information about palliative and end of life care?

The Macmillan Cancer Information Centre at the Royal Infirmary provides face to face advice and support, and we have a number of information leaflets available. 

Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Choices, National Council for Palliative Care all have useful information and links.  There are also lots of websites relating to particular conditions which describe how palliative and end of life care are used to support patients and families such as in Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimers dementia, and Motor Neurone Disease.