Advance Care Planning
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Advance Care Planning
Conversations we all should have. We encourage everyone to have an Advance Care Plan done whenever they are ready, to enjoy that peace of mind.
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What is Advance Care Planning?
Who is it for?
How does one get started?
What are the benefits?
Facts about ACP
Frequently asked questions
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What is Advance Care Planning (ACP)?
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a series of voluntary discussion to plan for your future health and personal care, with your loved ones and healthcare team. It allows you to share with your loved ones your healthcare preferences, which is important during a medical crisis, where you are unable to make healthcare decisions for yourself.
An ACP discussion involves
Helping your loved ones and healthcare providers understand what is important to you, your personal values, beliefs and wishes
Exploring your preferences and goals for medical care in the event of a medical crisis
Appointing a Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson (NHS) who can be your voice if you cannot speak for yourself one day.
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Who is ACP for?
Anyone can start their ACP today regardless of age or health condition. While ACP is especially important for those who have a chronic illness, an early cognitive impairment, are frail or are approaching the end of life, we encourage having it done even if you are generally well.
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How does one get started?
Here are 4 simple steps to help you get started:
Think about what is important to you - you may use the
to explore and reflect on your values, beliefs, wishes and care preferences.
Choose and talk with your Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson - He/she can be a family member, close friend or anyone whom you feel will act in your best interest when you are no longer able to communicate.
When you are ready to document your care preferences, you may register your interest with the WH ACP Office by submitting this
. Alternatively, you may email us at
. Documenting your ACP will make it available to your healthcare team through the National Electronic Healthcare Record (NEHR), which will help guide them to make clinical decisions and judgements in your best interest to honour your preferences.
With any changes in life, review your ACP every few years to make sure it is still in line with your current care preferences.
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What are the benefits of having an ACP done?
In the event of a medical crisis, the ACP guides your loved ones and healthcare team to make important care decisions for you, ensuring that your wishes and preferences are honoured. It also helps to avoid guilt, stress and conflicts among your loved ones, when making difficult decisions.
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Some Facts about ACP
ACP is not a legally-binding document and does not require a lawyer's presence, it is a series of voluntary discussions with your loved ones and healthcare team. It guides them to make decisions aligned with your personal values, in the event that you are unable to make them one day.
ACP is an ongoing process, where you may review your care preferences and change them at any point in time. Whenever your preferences or medical condition changes, it is very important to update your ACP as soon as possible, so that your records will be updated nationally in the system. You may always contact our team for an update of your plans.
ACP is a conversation we all should have, regardless of age and health conditions. We highly encourage people to start early, when they are still able to converse and decide for themselves. Planning ahead definitely gives everyone the peace of mind.
ACP is inexpensive. In fact, Woodlands Health is offering it for free! The only cost involved is time, as the entire process of recording your choices with an ACP Facilitator may take 1.5-2 hours. Nonetheless, we believe that it is a very important conversation in life, and everyone should get it done soon.
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Frequently asked questions
1. Who conducts the ACP session?
ACP sessions are usually initiated by the primary care team (i.e. the doctor / nurse in-charge of patient). Subsequently, the ACP will be discussed and completed with the patient (and usually a next-of-kin) by a trained ACP facilitator. Where clients self-register for the ACP conversation, they will be conducted by the WH ACP team. All ACP facilitators are healthcare workers who go through training, competency check, and certification to be qualified to conduct an ACP session.
2. Who will be able to see my ACP? Will other hospitals be able to view it?
Upon completing the ACP discussion with WH, the ACP form will be documented in patient’s clinical notes. Doctors will be able to view the ACPs of their patients in the hospital and National Electronic Healthcare Records (NEHR). All ACP completed in WH are updated in the NEHR.
Patients are encouraged to keep a copy of their ACP, and to proactively share it with their family and their other healthcare providers, be it within or outside of WH.
3. Who can I appoint as my Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson (NHS)?
Your NHS will ideally be:
At least 21 years old
Someone who knows you well
Willing to speak up for your goals and values on your behalf
Someone you trust and will act in your best interests to inform your healthcare team about your care preferences, if you lose mental capacity one day.
Someone who can handle stressful situations well.
You may nominate up to two NHS. They should be clear and in agreement about your preferences.
4. Is ACP the same as Advance Medical Directive
(AMD) or Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
No, they are not the same. You may refer to the table below for the differences.
Type of Tool
What is it
Enables people to know your treatment preferences in a medical crisis. This empowers them to make decisions for you according to your preferences.
A legal document which you sign in advance to inform your doctor that you do not want any life sustaining treatment to prolong your life in the event you are terminally ill and unconscious and death is imminent.
The legal appointment of one or more persons, called a done, to act and make decisions on your behalf when you lose mental capacity.
Who it involves
A certified ACP facilitator will conduct the ACP discussion with you, your nominated spokesperson. Your healthcare team may be involved.
A doctor who will certify that you are of sound mind when you sign the document.
A accredited doctor, lawyer or psychiatrist who will certify that you are of sound mind when you sign the document.
When it comes into effect
When you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.
When you are terminally ill, unconscious and death is imminent. This requires certification by 3 independent doctors.
When you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. Your donees can make decisions in personal welfare and/or property and financial affairs. They do not have the authority to make decisions on life-sustaining treatment on your behalf.
For more information, click on the following links:
. Learn more about other ways to plan ahead
5. Can I change my mind after my discussion?
Yes, you can. Whenever you change your mind about some of the decisions you have made, please inform your primary healthcare team or WH ACP team, so that your updated preferences can be reflected in the NEHR at the earliest time.
6. Does WH offer LPA services?
WH does not offer LPA certificate issuance service currently in the pre-operations phase.
7. Does WH offer AMD services?
WH does not offer AMD service currently.
8. Where can I get LPA services?
You may search for another Certificate Issuer on the
Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) website
and contact them to enquire about their service and charges.
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Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)
AIC is the government agency who manages the nation-wide ACP programme. Over at this site, you may find other information relevant to help you start the ACP process.
Are You Afraid of Dying? | Can Ask Meh?
A campaign developed by four NTU undergraduates, the "Conversation Starter Kit" may ease you into initiating an ACP conversation with your loved ones.
My Legacy is a one-stop service portal that helps you to explore, store and share your end-of-life plans with people you trust, e.g. ACP, LPA.
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For enquiries, email
or call 6363 3000 (WH Mainline).
To register your interest for an ACP conversation, complete this
or contact us at the email address above.
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