Planning and Capacity

Advance Care Planning is a process by which people can plan ahead to make decisions and express preferences about what they would wish to happen with their care and treatment if they lost capacity to make decisions for themselves and other people had to make decisions for them. There are a number of things people who want to plan ahead in this way can do:

  • They can appoint somebody to make decisions for them, using a Lasting Power of Attorney
  • They can refuse specific treatments in advance if they want to by making an advance decision to refuse treatment
  • They can nominate people they would like to be consulted when decisions are made about them
  • They can write down a statement containing their wishes and preferences for their future care.

In England and Wales, the legal framework to support this can be found in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.


NCPC has worked closely with many partners including the National End of Life Care Programme to provide information and guidance about Advance Care Planning and the Mental Capacity Act. Our publications include:

Planning for Your Future Care NB: NCPC no longer stocks hardcopies of this publication. To order please email stating how many copies you would like.

Good Decision Making – the Mental Capacity Act and End of Life Care

The differences between general care planning and decisions made in advance

The full text of the MCA can be found here

Further information about all aspects of the MCA can be found at the Office of the Public Guardian

You can also visit this page on the Dying Matters website to find out about practical steps you can take.


NCPC publishes a range of titles which can help you develop and implement your palliative care strategies, support clinical governance and offer guidance on clinical and ethical issues.

Have a look now