None of us knows what the future holds. Whatever stage of life you are at, it is always helpful to plan ahead, especially for those with chronic conditions or who are becoming frail with age. It is helpful to discuss your wishes should there be a time in the future when you are not able to tell people what you want.
Advance Care Planning involves making decisions about your future, making a list of your wishes and letting people who care for you know what your wishes are. This will ensure that the care you receive can be tailored to reflect your preferences. Whilst in Kingston Hospital, you may be offered the opportunity to discuss your wishes and preferences and to create an Advance Care Plan. The Advance Care Plan is a document that is shared with health care professionals, NHS 111, Ambulance Services as well as you and your family. We may also support you in creating a Co-Ordinate My Care (CMC) record. Co-ordinate My Care is an electronic system that is used in London by most health providers and is way of recording and communicating your Advance care Plan wishes between care providers and healthcare settings.
It’s your choice whether you wish to participate in these discussions and make an Advance Care plan. You shouldn’t feel under any pressure to include anything you are not comfortable with.
Some of our highly trained volunteers are working with patients and sometimes their family members to offer the opportunity for these discussions and to create an Advance Care Plan/CMC record. Having these conversations requires a skilled facilitator who can communicate with warmth and compassion. These are conversations that are increasingly a normal part of the way in which we deliver hospital care. Volunteers are especially well placed to take the time needed to have such sensitive and often thought-provoking conversations.
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