Advance care planning leads to an increase in patient satisfaction, decreases depression and improves a person’s quality of life. It can also help to reduce anxiety and depression among their family members. There have been a number of changes and this section provides an update for clinicians.
In June 2010, the National Advance Care Planning Cooperative (the Cooperative) was formed to drive a consistent approach to the development of advance care planning (ACP) in NZ with the goal that “All people in NZ will have access to comprehensive, structured and effective advance care planning” (Regional Workshop Preparation Paper: Advance Care Planning and Clinical Communication Capability in New Zealand - the next 5 years, Health Quality Safety Commission & the National ACP Cooperative, 2017).
Since 2010, advance care planning has become an increasingly important part of NZ healthcare. The NZ government, DHBs, Northern Regional Alliance, Health Workforce New Zealand (HWNZ) and the Health Quality Safety Commission (the commission) have worked together, resulting in the formation of the National Advance Care Planning Programme.
Why is ACP important for NZ?
Evidence shows that at the end-of-life, many people don’t get the care they want or need. Patients may receive inappropriate treatment, or if given the choice, treatment they would not have had.
Advance care planning leads to an increase in patient satisfaction, decreases depression and improves a person’s quality of life. It can also help to reduce anxiety and depression among their family members.
Findings from an Advanced Clinical Communications Training programme in 2016/2017 funded by 20 DHBs showed participants reported having conversations about ACP beneficial and restorative. They felt having a plan minimised the burden on whanau to make decisions and avoided conflict in end-of-life decisions.
The future of ACP in NZ
In 2017, The Cooperative developed an Advance care planning: Five-year strategy. The goals of the strategy are:
- to normalise death and dying
- national equitable access to advance care planning
- a prepared workforce and community
- to provide a sustainable advance care planning programme.
The Cooperative is currently exploring what NZ needs to do at a local, regional and national level to make advance care planning accessible to all and to increase the clinical communication capability of the workforce to support advance care planning.
Regional Workshop Preparation Paper: Advance Care Planning and Clinical Communication Capability in NZ - the next 5 years, Health Quality Safety Commission and the National ACP Cooperative, 2017.