Background In 2020, the Minister for Health approved the development of a health-related Advance Care Planning Policy for Adults.
Method Between December 2020 and September 2021, two phases of early engagements with stakeholders helped inform and shape the development of the policy. The draft Advance Care Planning policy document and a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) were launched for a 12-week public consultation in December 2021, as phase 3 of the process.
The aim of the engagement was to support the active involvement of all stakeholders, primarily in shaping the policy development and to inform the policy implementation plans.
These engagements were conducted based on principles of inclusiveness and accessibility, with a wide range of organisations and individuals including those representing equality categories of persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation; men and women generally; persons with a disability and persons without; and persons with dependants and persons without. There was thematic analysis of all commentary.
Results Following Phase I engagement there were 2 significant recommendations. That the scope of the policy should be broadened to include other aspects such as making a will, financial aspects, spirituality and online accounts. That a Recommended Summary Plan for Emergency Care and Treatment (ReSPECT) be considered as a potential alternative to a stand-alone do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) process and form.
The holistic Advance Care Planning policy for adults was launched in October 2022, with implementation via public information, operational frameworks, training and education, and evaluation and outcome.
Conclusion A co -production inclusive approach has led to the development of a more robust policy and implementation that moves beyond traditional focus on palliative care and is instead based on a 4- component model of personal, legal, clinical and financial planning for all adults.
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