Forming future plans is not something we often do. This may change when a person is faced with a progressive illness and the possibility of physical and mental deterioration. Advance Care Planning offers people the means to make clear their future preferences ahead of time.Advanced Care Planning image

An advance care plan records and makes clear a person’s future treatment wishes and care. It is an acknowledgement by that person of the prospect of their death and the existential loss of self at the end of life. It therefore represents a significant amount of thought and decision-making. Ideally discussions about Advance Care Planning should happen while the person is still well enough to participate in the discussion and have capacity.

Evidence suggests it may not be that simple, with practitioners and patients blocking or avoiding advance care planning discussions. While it can be upsetting thinking about Advance Care Planning, it has also proven to be empowering.

Health and social care practitioners from all backgrounds in Northamptonshire can learn more about advance care planning by registering their interest for a place on a series of online workshops which will be hosted by the University of Northampton this year.

Even if you only occasionally come into contact with end-of-life care patients, initiating a conversation about advanced care planning could benefit them later.

Those taking part in the workshops will learn about Mary, who loved family tea parties and being with her sisters. Mary wanted to die at home – this was only known through talking about what made her happy, what was important to her and what worried her about the future. This formed Mary’s advance care plan.

The workshops explore what is advance care planning and how health and social care practitioners can begin gentle conversations to initiate thoughts about advance care planning.

If you are interested in taking part in the workshops, please contact Peter Stuart to register your details by emailing

Once you are registered, you will be sent further information about dates for the sessions and how to book as soon as they are confirmed.