Advance Care Planning Week, April 3 – 7 2023

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust, alongside Compassionate Communities North West and other partners, are encouraging people to talk about the importance of planning ahead as part of Advance Care Planning Week.

Also known as Advance Care Planning, the theme this year, ‘Think and Plan Ahead’, reminds us that plans about future care needs and putting your affairs in order are best made when there is time to think about what is important to you.

During the week, the Northern Health and Social Care Trust is providing an Advance Care Planning information session for Mid Ulster Council staff and it hopes to run public information sessions in the future.

There are a number of information sessions taking place in the northwest, including a Literary Event and Workshop in Derry Central Library on Tuesday 4th April. More information is available on the Compassionate Communities NI website .

Fiona Gilmour, Macmillan Service Improvement Lead for the Northern Trust, explained: “None of us want to think about getting ill or dying yet none of us want to make things difficult for our loved ones either. It’s important, for their sake, not to delay making significant arrangements, like future care, wills and funeral plans. This year we want people to start the conversation with those closest to them about their wishes”.

The new Advance Care Planning Policy for Northern Ireland (NI) – ‘For Now and For the Future’ was launched by the Department of Health in October 2022. It highlights the need for us to look forward to a time when we may, because of a health change or crisis, become unable to communicate our wishes. At such times it is important that those closest to us and those looking after our care know what we would want.

The NI Advance Care Planning Policy contains four key components – Personal, Legal, Clinical and Financial. Everyone over 18, with mental capacity to make decisions should consider these. Visit the Department of Health website for more information, eLearning and videos. Information is available in various languages and formats including sign language and easy read guides.

The Northern Trust would encourage everyone to think ahead to the time when you or a family member may be ill and you need to know what they would want you to do. It’s so much easier to cope with the decisions that need to be made when you have had a conversation with them and know their wishes.

For further information please contact the Northern Trust Palliative Care Service Improvement Team NHSCT by emailing, or Compassionate Communities North West at

30th March 2023

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