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Information for GPs

What you need to know

  • The Queensland Government is encouraging patients and the community to discuss their health care wishes with their doctor.

  • Your patients may ask you about advance care planning in general or their Advance Health Directive, Enduring Power of Attorney, Statement of Choices or forms to revoke enduring documents.

  • The Advance Health Directive and Enduring Power of Attorney forms are currently under review by the Department of Justice and Attorney-General. Current forms are still valid for use.

  • The Statement of Choices provides you with another advance care planning tool which you can offer your patients. The Statement of Choices is used in all care environments across Queensland.

  • The Statement of Choices Form A and Form B includes a section for a Doctor's review and signature.

  • If advance care planning is initiated with patients in the hospital setting, information will be included in the discharge summary provided to the patient's GP listed in the medical record.

  • Copies of advance care planning documents provided to the Office of Advance Care Planning will be clinically audited and uploaded to the patient's Queensland Health electronic hospital record, and can be accessed via the ACP Tracker in The Viewer (a secure web-based application enabling access to key patient information).

  • The ACP Tracker is helping clinicians in Queensland health public hospitals, Queensland Ambulance Service and authorised GPs to provide quality end-of-life care. Click to view a video about the ACP Tracker.

  • Clicking on the ACP icon from within The Viewer will launch the ACP Tracker enabling direct access to advance care planning documents uploaded by the Office of Advance Care Planning, and viewing of Queensland Health advance care planning comments/interactions.

  • GPs can register for access to the Health Provider Portal (and The Viewer).

  • The Office of Advance Care Planning will notify the person’s primary GP about any advance care planning documents uploaded to The Viewer.  

Which Advance Care Planning documents can be uploaded to Queensland Health hospital record?

What is the Statement of Choices form and how is it different?

The Statement of Choices form:

  • is a four-page form which focuses on a person's wishes and choices for health care into the future
  • is not a legislated document, but can have legal effect
  • like all advance care planning documents, is only used to help guide health care decisions if a person is unable to make or communicate health care decisions
  • has two versions:
  • Form A: for people who have the capacity to complete their form and make decisions
  • Form B: for people without capacity or requiring supported decision making, to be completed by the person's substitute decision maker.
  • does not replace other existing advance care planning documents.

How to access the Statement of Choices form

  • Print directly from this website (My Care, My Choices). An online writable PDF form can be downloaded by clicking here.
  • Printed forms and brochures are available upon request. To order printed versions of the form, please contact the Office of Advance Care Planning on phone 1300 007 227, fax 1300 008 227 or email acp@health.qld.gov.au

What do I do if my patient asks about advance care planning?

  1. Outline the process of advance care planning.
  2. Provide the patient with the Advance Care Planning brochure (PDF, 1019.85 KB)
  3. Suggest the patient complete their Enduring Power of Attorney to legally appoint their substitute decision maker(s).
  4. Ask your patient to discuss their wishes and health care choices with their substitute decision maker(s), family and/or close friends.
  5. Some patients may like to read the advance care planning forms ahead of time. Suggest your patient goes to the My Care, My Choices website to access the advance care planning forms online. You may choose to give the patient a copy of the Statement of Choices form (the Office of ACP can provide your practice with a supply of the Statement of Choices forms and brochures). 

What do I do if my patient has completed a Statement of Choices?

  1. Check the patient has read each section; discussed their preferences with their substitute decision maker(s), family and significant others; and written their choices on the correct form (Form A for people with decision-making capacity, Form B for people without decision-making capacity, or requiring supported decision-making).
  2. Clarify any questions the patient may have about their decisions.
  3. Have the patient (Form A) or substitute decision maker (Form B) sign and date the declaration in their completed Statement of Choices form.
  4. Ensure the correct contact information is provided for their substitute decision maker(s).
  5. Complete the Usual Doctor’s Statement section (page 4 of 4).
  6. Give the original document to the patient. Advise them to keep it in a safe but accessible place.
  7. Keep a copy in your patient's file. Advise the patient to give photocopies to their substitute decision- maker(s) and/or family and close friends.
  8. Send a copy of their completed Statement of Choices document to the address details on the form (bottom of page 4), or fax or email to the Office of Advance Care Planning, so it can be added into their secure Queensland Health electronic hospital record.

What do I do if my patient brings an Advance Health Directive (AHD) in to complete?

  1. Discuss the person’s medical history and views, explain any medical terms and clarify related queries that he/she may be unsure of.
  2. Complete Section 5 Doctor involvement (p14) verifying:
    1. You have discussed the document with the person.
    2. In your opinion he/she was not suffering from any condition that would affect his/her capacity to understand the things necessary to make an AHD, and he/she understands the nature and effect of the health care described in the document as per document instructions.
    3. You are not:
      1. The person witnessing the AHD.
      2. The person signing the AHD for the person.
      3. An attorney of the person.
      4. A relation of the person or of an attorney of the person
      5. A beneficiary under the person’s will.
  3. Remind the person that:
    1. Sections 8 (p19) and 9 (p20) of the form must be signed in front of an eligible witness (Justice of the Peace, Commissioner of Declarations, Lawyer or Notary Public).
  4. Once complete, a copy of the AHD can be sent to the Office of Advance Care Planning, so it can be added into the person's secure Queensland Health electronic hospital record.

What are the MBS item numbers that may be used by GPs for Advance Care Planning?

Information and guidance on the use of Medicare Benefits Schedule Items for advance care planning in general practice can be found here.

Contact

If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us:
Office of Advance Care Planning
PO Box 2274, Runcorn Qld 4113
Phone: 1300 007 227
Fax: 1300 008 227
Email: acp@health.qld.gov.au

The Office of Advance Care Planning is funded by the Queensland Department of Health and can provide assistance with advance care planning information and resources for consumers and health professionals.

Last updated 30 October 2019
Last reviewed 3 December 2018

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