Advance Care Planning – inspiring confidence to facilitate important conversations

Many of us have strong views about what’s important to us. There is often an assumption that we will always be able to express this clearly, or that someone close to us will just know if we can’t speak for ourselves. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Enter Advance Care Planning!

I like to look at this in a simple way:
Do it; Forget it; Get on with living!

I have huge respect for Dr Kathryn Mannix, a palliative care doctor (now retired) with 30+ years of experience. She has worked even harder since the beginning of the pandemic to bring the idea of having conversations and then writing down what’s important to people at the end of life firmly into the public domain. I have been inspired by her work, and reference her often in my own teaching.

It became clear as Covid struck that the gentle death which I have advocated through my Soul Midwife and TLC work was often completely impossible. People were rushed to hospital and their loved ones never saw them again. Hospital staff did their very best to fill in for loved ones as people died, but there could be no human touch, no gentle presence, no calm and reassuring atmosphere. In conversation with a Nurse Specialist I had previously worked with I asked how I could support their facility. It became clear that all too often nobody knew what a resident’s preferences were in relation to where they would like to be cared for, what interventions they would like and so on if they suddenly became ill – and Advance Planning became of ever-increasing importance. But the problem lay in the lack of confidence that nurses might feel about starting these important conversations.

And so my webinar was born: Advance Care Planning – inspiring confidence to facilitate important conversations  

The sessions take place over one day, and places are limited to 10. My inspiration has always been twofold – firstly to support staff by giving them an opportunity to explore death and dying in a safe, confidential environment, while sharing their own experiences and thus feeling valued within their own peer group; and secondly to allow them to become more at ease in discussing the end of life, which then enables them to facilitate any discussions needed with residents and their families/loved ones with a much greater level of comfort. Having now trained over 50 Registered RNs the feedback has been universally positive. Not only are they feeling much more at ease about facilitating these important conversations, but the takeup of ACPs has increased dramatically. On top of that, nurses regularly expressed their gratitude at having the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about death and dying, and to learn from each other in the process. Many felt they would be able to continue starting conversations within their personal spheres as well as their professional ones – ambassadors for having conversations about death and dying.

I feel strongly, as a former nurse myself, that health professionals need space to talk about their experiences and to be reminded of the importance of self-care. This webinar allows just that – no two are exactly alike, as the personal experiences people share enrich each one.

If you would like to see how I could help your facility support your staff while familiarising them with your existing ACP paperwork, or even creating new versions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me here.


A surprisingly fabulous day
Wendy is a great trainer, very warm personality, very knowledgeable
The training was very informative, interactive and I thoroughly enjoyed it
It was a really great engaging and educative session
Very useful training, the trainer was very sensitive with the subject and very appropriate throughout
My approach to ACP planning and conversations will definitely change