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Advance Care Directives for health professionals

The Advance Care Directives Act 2013 (SA) and changes to the Consent to Medical Treatment and Palliative Care Act 1995 (PDF 158KB) came into effect on 1 July 2014. Together these changes pave the way for a rights-based, person-centred approach to health care.

What this means for previous Advance Care Directives

The Advance Care Directive Form replaces Medical Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Guardianship and Anticipatory Directions with a single Advance Care Directive Form. Already completed Enduring Power of Guardianships, Medical Powers of Attorney and Anticipatory Directions are still legally effective unless an Advance Care Directive Form is completed.

The Advance Care Directive Form and Kit are available both in hardcopy and electronically from the Advance Care Directive website. To order consumer materials, see the How can I order Advance Care Directive information? fact sheet (PDF 492KB).

What it means for staff

Changes to clinical care, administrative processes for SA Health services and structures across SA Health are underway. The changes will enable access to Advance Care Directives at the point of care when needed so staff will know who to contact for third party consent. Clinical care practices are changing to support person centered care.

SA Health staff should be asking patients at admission whether they have an Advance Care Directive (when relevant) and, if so, who has been appointed as their Substitute Decision Maker/s. Staff should also be ensuring that any Advance Care Directive provided by a patient is a certified copy (PDF 58KB).

Tools to assist staff

See the following tools and information sheets to assist you:

National Safety and Quality Service Standards

These changes support the National Safety and Quality Service Standards:

Training

To assist staff understand and apply the SA Health Advance Care Directive policy directive a number of educational training resources have been developed. See the Advance Care Directives education and training page for more information.

Where to get help and advice

SA Health services have local mentors and advisers who can provide SA Health staff with help and advice about Advance Care Directives according to local policies and protocols, see also the Advance Care Directive Policy Directive (PDF 507KB) and Policy Guideline (PDF 2.08MB)

If further help and advice is required please contact Office of the Public Advocate on (08) 8342 8200. The Office of the Public Advocate's Dispute Resolution Service can also provide information and advice around Advance Care Directives.

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