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A patient’s guide to thinking about care if you are seriously ill

The British Medical Association (BMA) have published a guide for patients called Thinking about care if you are seriously ill.

This looks at the important topic of Advance Care Planning (ACP). ACP is a way in which individuals can discuss and make clear their wishes and choices for treatment and care, which may become relevant at a future time, when they lack capacity to make decisions for themselves.

The BMA guide says:

'COVID-19 means that during this period, many people will become unwell. Some people may need to go to hospital and receive intensive medical treatment to try to keep them alive. Even with the best possible treatment, sadly, there are some people who will not survive.

The current situation with COVID-19 might have made you think about what you want to happen to you in the event that you become seriously unwell, or how you would like to be cared for at the end of your life. Thinking about this now, and sharing your wishes with those close to you and other people involved in looking after you, means that if you do become very ill and are no longer able to make decisions for
yourself, the doctors and other healthcare professionals looking after you will know what you would like to happen.'

Click here for BMA's Thinking about care if you are seriously ill – a patient’s guide A guide for patients across the UK (except Scotland).

Also see the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice brief guide on ACP. These guides are to help all health and social care professionals navigate through and apply the principles of the Mental Capacity Act for decisions regarding treatment and care. This is one of those guides and should be read in conjunction with the other guides in the series.

Click here for NCPQSW ACP briefing