Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Video sees local man promote benefits of Anticipatory Care Plan

AN APPROACH which will help everyone shape their future health care is the focus of a new video produced in Dumfries and Galloway.

The Anticipatory Care Plan is a national initiative which encourages everyone to have conversations with their families and their healthcare providers about what type of care they want to receive.

This person-centred approach results in a plan which is a record of those conversations, setting out needs and wishes as well as the health outcomes each individual wants to achieve.

Dennis Arnold, 73, of Brydekirk features in the new video speaking about how important the Anticipatory Care Plan (ACP) has been for him.

Mr Arnold said: “To be honest, when I first saw the Anticipatory Care Plan I thought, ‘Oh no, not another’.

“It seems to me rather too often that you’re faced with these things, and they’re a bit daunting in some respects because they touch on subjects that you’re not really very comfortable talking about and perhaps you don’t want to think about.

“But after a while I looked at it again and again and I came to the conclusion that it’s actually a very positive document.

“It was very well written in the sense that it explained what it wanted you to do, it gave a real sense of being about you and how you can be supported in your care now and in the future, and your health needs now and in the future.

“Overall I think the plan is a very positive one. I think the greatest thing about it is that you are actually in control, and you can make decisions about your future and you may be able to make decisions that you couldn’t at a later stage because you may not really be well enough to make those decisions.”

Mr Arnold is about to go into hospital for surgery, and says he now understands the importance of bringing the completed plan with him in his pre-assessment appointment and when he has the surgery.

He also says it means it keeps his GP up to date with where he is in his treatment, and allows them to respond to his immediate needs.

Mr Arnold added: “I’m already using it practically.”

Annan GP Dr Fiona O’Brien also stresses how importance of the whole approach.

Dr O’Brien said: “The Anticipatory Care Plan explores what’s important to you, helps you to write down who and what is important, who cares for you, who you want to care for you, and where your long-term conditions are taking you.”

The Anticipatory Care Plan is available in a physical format from health professionals including local GP practices.

It can be downloaded from the website https://ihub.scot/project-toolkits/anticipatory-care-planning-toolkit/anticipatory-care-planning-toolkit/documents/and is also available as an app from Google Play and the Apple App store.

Written in plain English, the plan takes someone through the process of answering straightforward questions aimed at clearly setting out their current health needs and what they want in the future.

The ACP is backed across the range of health and social care organisations, including the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Derek Reive from the service said:  “We need to have conversations early and support completion of the Anticipatory Care Plan, and encourage people to share the plan with their GP practice.

“It will help improve communications between services such as paramedics, Out of Hours, NHS 24 and other health and social care practitioners.”

And care and support services such as Rainbow Services are also endorsing the plan and encouraging people to complete their own.

George Dickson said: “Anticipatory Care Plans are simply about planning for the future, and encouraging people to think ahead about their own care.

“This allows practitioners to meet with people and their families to discuss things that are really important to the person. It’s a very person-centred thing.”

Dumfries and Galloway Health and Social Partnership will be working to encourage people of all ages and all health support needs to complete their own Anticipatory Care Plan, and help set out their future needs.

A separate video has been produced featuring new chair of the Integration Joint Board Councillor Andy Ferguson who voices the importance of the document.

Councillor Ferguson said: “It’s a way to help me understand my own health and allows me to make choices after having spoken to the people who really matter, and who can affect how my health will be dealt with.

“It puts me in more control of any changes that might happen in the future.”

The new national Anticipatory Care Plan can be downloaded from the website https://ihub.scot/project-toolkits/anticipatory-care-planning-toolkit/anticipatory-care-planning-toolkit/documents/ and also obtained as an app from Google Play or the Apple App store.

A printed copy of the plan can be obtained from local health centres including GP surgeries.

To view the video featuring Brydekirk man Dennis Arnold, visit https://youtu.be/412L5i3WUCs

To see the video featuring IJB chairman Councillor Andy Ferguson, visit https://youtu.be/t-26NGQhQys