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Dying Matters Awareness Week: Weldmar set to provide Advance Care Planning support in Dorset

11th May 2023


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“Every person is a story, and the ending really matters.”

This week is Dying Matters Awareness Week, and Weldmar Hospicecare is about to embark on a year long project to improve Advance Care Planning with other health professionals and care homes in Dorset.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the term for conversations that take place between people receiving care, their loved ones, and those providing the care. It is an important part of enabling better planning and provision of care, to help people live and die well in the place and manner of their choosing, and to clarify peoples’ wishes, needs and preferences, and deliver care to meet these needs.

Setting out these preferences and choices help to determine what happens to a person when they are no longer able to care for themselves, or if they are ever at a point where they are unable to communicate with their health care provider. It provides an opportunity to think about what they would and would not like to happen. It creates an ‘advance statement’, which can be regularly reviewed and amended with loved ones or health care team.

The benefit of this planning includes:

  • People at the end of life and their carers have time to deal with the news, and realign their priorities
  • People at the end of life will be less likely to be subject to treatments where the benefits will be limited
  • It prevents having to deal with a series of crises
  • Well organised planning can result in far fewer hospital admissions and fulfil wishes to die at home

In addition to providing an opportunity to state wishes and preferences, an Advance Clare Planning document can also include plans for putting your affairs in order before you die, how to make a will if you don’t have one, and funeral planning.

The Anticipatory Care Project has been devised and funded by NHS Dorset, and the team of palliative care experts at Weldmar have been selected to deliver training, working closely with local Primary Care Networks and care homes, identifying gaps in training needs and ensuring that there is consistency in the conversations and support available to people approaching the end of life.

The training and education will be delivered face to face, with additional online resources being created as a ‘toolkit’ for future use.

Caroline Sweetland is Director of Clinical Services at Weldmar, and says, “This project provides an exciting opportunity for us to engage with care homes, frailty teams and GP practices to support those who know the patient or resident best and help staff to start the discussions. This ultimately will lead to more awareness of the benefits early planning can bring.”



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