My Life, My Decision was an ambitious, multifaceted programme of work delivered by Compassion in Dying and its partners and funded by the Big Lottery’s Silver Dreams. Funded to run from July 2014 until October 2016, its aim was to support people aged over 50 to think about and plan their care in advance, helping to ensure they have the death that is right for them.
The programme was launched in the context of a (then) ongoing review into choice in end-of-life care and a recently completed review of the Mental Capacity Act in practice, with the aspiration that the programme would test new approaches to engaging members of the public and professionals with early Advance Care Planning.
My Life, My Decision developed a service that placed the individual at the centre of their care decisions and supported them to express and record their wishes in a legally binding way. It also developed effective models of partnership between health services and voluntary organisations, enabling healthcare professionals to refer patients to trusted community partners who could support those patients to plan their care.
Now they have a choice for everything. It has built up their confidence and they have been given voices.
- Fousia - Community Development Worker, Women's Health and Family Services
Compassion in Dying have also launched MyDecisions, a website that supports people to draft an Advance Decision or Advance Statement online. Built in consultation with over 300 service users, MyDecisions guides people through different scenarios and questions to help them consider what matters most in relation to their future treatment and care. At the end people get a personalised Advance Decision or Advance Statement to print, sign, witness and share.
The charity also delivers training to professionals and has produced a toolkit for health and social care professionals to support their understanding of Advance Decisions.