The Department of Health's End of Life Strategy (1), Living and Dying Well: Building on Progress(2) and NHS Lothian's Palliative Care Strategy 2010 (3) all recommend a ‘thinking ahead’ philosophy (ACP) for all patients in the palliative phase of an illness and outcomes shared electronically. NHS Scotland recommends using the electronic palliative care summary (ePCS) as an aniticipatory care plan (3). A 1 year collaborative project aimed to identify ways to support implementation of ACP in three clinical settings: hospital, social care home and a GP practice. In each setting the project: used a learning needs analysis to identify learning objectives developed an educational resource delivered ACP education evaluated learning outcomes identified champions in each setting worked collaboratively with the project lead to optimise engagement and learning outcomes. The learning needs analysis identified: limited understanding of ACP an informal unstructured approach to the process perceived barriers to the practice of ACP although the identified learning objectives were the same, the educational approach was adapted for each setting. The learning objectives were: define what is meant by Advance Care Planning Explore who may benefit describe what Advance Care Planning may lead onto be aware of the clinical tools (ePCS etc) used to record and share the outcomes from Advance Care Planning discussions explore role and reflect on the process in setting. This project established successful educational approaches to support the implementation of ACP in three different clinical settings. The champions in each setting have committed to review their current ACP processes and make improvements in collaboration with their teams. Further evaluation will be presented at the conference and will provide valuable information relating to the longer term impact on patient care.
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