Free advanced care planning support for General Practices now provided by EMPHN

It is more important than ever to have Advance Care Planning (ACP) conversations. As health professionals, are you having these conversations with your patients?


The number of people who die after chronic illness that is not the result of a sudden event is around 85%.

Advance care planning (ACP) ensures that a person’s preferences, beliefs and values about health care are known and respected if they are too unwell to speak for themselves. ACP allows health professionals to understand and respect a person's future healthcare preferences, for a time when they become seriously ill and are unable to communicate for themselves. ACP is a process, not an event. During this process, patients explore, discuss, articulate, and document their preferences.

Creating a trusting relationship with your patients, especially seniors, is a priority for all health professionals. The delivery of care in line with patient wishes and increased patient and family satisfaction, needs to be central to all treatments provided.

Discussions centred around the beliefs, goals, and values of patients, rather than specific health outcomes or interventions is key to ACP.

However due to psychological, emotional and cultural barriers these are very difficult conversations to have. Victorians are less likely to have an Advance Care Directive.

Currently only 6% of people attending general practices has an advance care directive in their health record. With this in mind, EMPHN would like to support your practice to make the process more informed and stress free.

All healthcare professionals have an important role to help with planning and ensuring people have choice in their care. Advance care planning conversations should be routine and occur as part of a person’s ongoing healthcare plan. Better outcomes are experienced when advance care planning is introduced early as part of ongoing care rather than in reaction to a decline in condition or a crisis situation.

Benefits of initiating advance care planning conversations

All healthcare professionals have an important role to help with planning and ensuring people have choice in their care. You might want to start the conversation with someone, or they might ask you about the requirements of advance care planning. These conversations can be with the nurse initially and then completed by the GP.

Sometimes multiple conversations are required to complete each Advance Care Directive. Every conversation your clinic has with each patient, can be billed through a Medicare item number (short or long consult). Further, consideration of Advance Care Planning conversations is mandatory under the 75+ Health Assessment plan.

EMPHN support for GPs

Undertaking training and education is the best way to improve your knowledge and confidence with advance care planning conversations.

In order to boost the numbers of Advance Care planning conversations at your practice, EMPHN would like to support you to learn more about advance care planning through all the following options:

  • Online courses, workshops, information sessions, webinars: Organise sessions for you with support from Advance Care Planning Australia. VIEW.
  • Factsheets for general practice, patients and families in multiple languages. VIEW.
  • Printable resources for your practice patients: Getting started guides in multiple languages, wallet cards, information postcard and stickers. VIEW.
  • Green advance care plan sleeve: The actual advance care plan. VIEW.
  • Getting Started Guide. VIEW.
  • Posters: Information posters for display in your clinic. VIEW.

All these are at no cost to you. This support can be tailored to suit individual practice needs.

If you like to know more about the types of training, resources, webinars and support your clinic can receive, please contact: