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Fifteen-minute consultation: Developing an advance care plan in partnership with the child and family
  1. Emily Jane Harrop1,
  2. Katherine Boyce2,
  3. Tania Beale1,
  4. Karen Brombley1
  1. 1 Paediatric Palliative Care, Helen and Douglas House, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Flexicare Oxford and Abingdon, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily Jane Harrop, Helen and Douglas House, Oxford OX4 1RW, UK; emilyharrop{at}


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.

  • palliative care
  • communication
  • end of life
  • nice guidance

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  • Contributors EJH and KBr worked together to write the first draft of this article. TB and KBo contributed their personal experiences, direct quotes and photographs of their children. They also read and critiqued the manuscript.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Parental consent obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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