Background Evidence shows advance care planning (ACP) positively impacts the quality of end of life care (EOLC) (Brinkman-Stoppelenburg, Rietjens, Van Der Heide. Palliat Med. 2014; 28(8): 1000–1025). Our county recognised the need to improve how an advance statement is created, accessed, and stored.
Aim A project commenced in April 2021, stakeholders involved included NHS, Social Finance, and a charity. Partnership working aimed to find an effective way to provide consistent and accessible ways for all adults (18+) with a county GP to develop their ACP.
Methods The charity provides training and support to volunteers who help people complete their ACPs. Referrals are received by telephone, email, self-referral or from someone else. The Volunteer Coordinator contacts the person, and a visit is made. Once created and uploaded to a county-wide digital system, they can be accessed and updated by the health or social care staff looking after them. The person receives their own copy to share with others.
The ACP Lead, EOLC Education team and charity provide ACP training and attend public engagement events, such as death cafes, social media, library presence, creation of an upcoming ACP week, the End of life care county-wide website. Leaflets and information packs sent to GP surgeries, care homes and hospitals. Education is key to understand the importance of ACP. Numbers of referrals received, completed ACPs and those declining the service are counted and statistics updated.
Results ACPs are being created and saved on the county-wide system. Year 1 – high referral, low conversion (3.5%). Year 2 – low referral (22%), high conversion (51%). Reflection during the first year noted ‘warm’ referrals were more likely to result in a completed ACP. Currently, we are monitoring the number of referrals received and the conversion rate, aiming for this to increase. Data and learning are being captured each year and will be able to determine the outcomes and recommendations for the future.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
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