Consultation on the Draft Advance Care Planning Policy for Adults in Northern Ireland and Draft Equality Impact Assessment

Consultation opened on 17 December 2021. Closing date 11 March 2022.


The Department of Health is undertaking a consultation on a draft Advance Care Planning Policy for Adults in Northern Ireland and related Equality Impact Assessment.

This policy will provide a framework for Advance Care Planning for adults (aged 18 years and over), focusing on the health and social care aspects. It has been developed to support a person to have greater choice and control over decisions, including plans for their future care and treatment. A person’s Advance Care Planning conversations, and any recommendations and/or decisions, will be used should a person become unable to make the relevant decisions for themselves at any point. This may be due to declining health or an unexpected medical emergency.

This policy has been developed using a co-production approach with extensive stakeholder engagement and input. We now seek further views on the draft Advance Care Planning policy and Equality Impact Assessment.


Consultation description

The draft policy provides an overview of Advance Care Planning, why it is important and how it can help people to think about what matters to them and to make timely, realistic and practical plans for their future, including future care and treatment. It encourages these plans to be made in conversation with those who are important to the person and/or someone providing care, support or treatment. 

A key aim of the Advance Care Planning policy will be to promote clear and consistent messages and practice for all those providing care, support or treatment.  The policy will also aim to increase public awareness and understanding of what Advance Care Planning is, encouraging adults at any age or stage of life to consider and plan ahead for their future. The ambition of the policy is that Advance Care Planning conversations become normalised; that all adults have regular opportunities to express their wishes, feelings, beliefs and values in relation to Advance Care Planning and that these are reflected in the care, support or treatment they receive.

The draft Advance Care Planning policy has been developed using a co-production approach involving a wide range of stakeholders.  A Report on Early Stakeholder Engagement is available here

Alternative Languages, Accessible Formats and Data Protection Impact Assessment

Documents are available in a range of alternative languages and accessible formats on the Department website

A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) screening, Rural Needs Impact Assessment and Regulatory Impact Assessment screening are available on request, please e-mail

Ways to respond

Option 1: Online

Complete the questionnaires for the consultations online:

 Option 2: Paper Copy

If you are unable to access the consultation online, you can request a paper copy of the consultation documents.  

  • By telephoning the dedicated Patient Client Council number 02895 368542.
  • Via email

    A pre-paid envelope will be provided to return your completed responses

Option 3: Telephone Support

If you require any additional support, telephone number 02895 368542 can be used to speak directly to a Patient and Client Council  operator (Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm).

The operator can:

  • Post a Consultation Pack to you including a pre-paid envelope to return completed responses.
  • Answer any queries you may have about submitting your response online.
  • Complete the Advance Care Planning policy &/or EQIA consultation questionnaires by inputting your responses directly online. You may request a copy of your response.
  • Put in place accessibility arrangements such as interpreter services, including sign languages and alternative formats for example braille.

Consultation Information Events 

The Patient and Client Council are facilitating a number of virtual information sessions to let you know how you can respond to the consultations. 

Thursday 20 January 2022 at 10am
Wednesday 2 February 2022 at 2:30pm (BSL Session)
Tuesday 8 February 2022 at 2:30pm (ISL Session)
Thursday 10 February 2022 at 2pm
Tuesday 15 February 2022 at 6:30pm

Registration link for the PCC website

Privacy, Confidentiality and Access to Consultation Responses


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