Advance Care Planning Policy

20th October 2022

PCC thanks all those who engaged in the strategic work behind the new For Now and For The Future Advance Care Planning Policy for Adults in NI.

Health Minister Robin Swann has encouraged adults in Northern Ireland to have conversations about what matters to them for their future.

Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Michael McBride

The Department of Health launched their Advance Care Planning policy on Wednesday 19th October 2022 in Belfast.

Advance Care Planning Policy for Adults in Northern Ireland and related Equality Impact Assessment. This policy will provide a framework for Advance Care Planning for adults (aged 18 years and over), focusing on the health and social care aspects. It has been developed to support a person to have greater choice and control over decisions, including plans for their future care and treatment. A person’s Advance Care Planning conversations, and any recommendations and/or decisions, will be used should a person become unable to make the relevant decisions for themselves at any point. This may be due to declining health or an unexpected medical emergency. This policy has been developed using a co-production approach with extensive stakeholder engagement and input.

The Patient and Client Council (PCC) supported the Department of Health with engaging with the public to inform and influence the policy. This included a number of engagement sessions facilitated by the PCC in the summer of 2021 whereby members of the public and community and voluntary groups shared their views and experiences on Advance Care Planning. It was these sessions that decided what should go into the consultation to help shape the policy.

More recently, January and February 2022, the PCC held several virtual information sessions to inform the public on the consultation and to actively support them to respond to the consultation. Additionally, a dedicated phoneline to assist people with completing the consultation documents. We wish to take this opportunity to thank those who were engaged in the programmed of work and who have responded to the consultation. Their input and commitment has actively influenced the development of this policy.

The Department of Health Advance Care Planning Lead, Corrina Grimes said: “People have been at the heart of the development of the Advance Care Planning policy.  A co-production approach has been central to this with extensive conversations, discussions and input from a significant number of sectors, organisations and people, from earliest design through to public consultation.

“I want to acknowledge and thank all those who have been involved in this engagement – the policy is the richer for the valuable insights of the many organisations and individuals who have contributed to it.

To help support implementation of the policy, an e-learning programme has also been created to provide information on Advance Care Planning for members of the public, the voluntary and community sector, and all health and social care staff. The e-learning module can be accessed via the Department of Health website at the Advance Care Planning page What is Advance Care Planning? | Department of Health (

More information: ‘Have the conversation’ – Swann | Department of Health (