Fifteen-minute consultation: Developing an advance care plan in partnership with the child and family

Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed. 2018 Dec;103(6):282-287. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-314430. Epub 2018 Mar 24.


An advance care plan (ACP) is the record of a discussion between an individual (where possible), their professional care givers and those close to them about their future care. When performed well, the process provides all those involved with the opportunity to talk honestly about the future allowing children and their families to retain autonomy and to influence how they are looked after. While this may represent a difficult area of practice for healthcare professionals, both staff and families appear to benefit when the process is fully informed and the child and family are actively involved. This article is enriched by the insight of two bereaved parents, who have engaged actively with the process of advance care planning. As a multidisciplinary writing team, we aim to share our experiences, in the context of recent national guidance, on the use of ACPs.

Keywords: communication; end of life; nice guidance; palliative care.

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning*
  • Attitude to Death
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Patient Participation*
  • Personal Autonomy*
  • Professional-Family Relations*