More Level 2 Advance Care Planning Courses Coming Soon


24 Sep 2013

More Advance Care Planning courses are being held starting in December as part of the South Island Alliance’s initiative to improve the quality of end of life care. Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of discussion between a person, their families/whanau and their health care professionals to help plan for their future health care needs.

Seven more Level 2 courses are being held around the South Island between December 2013 and June 2014, aimed at preparing health professionals from a range of healthcare settings to be able to initiate and facilitate conversations with patients and their families about end of life care.

A number of Level 2 courses were held in the South Island earlier this year and participants were enthusiastic about ACP, the communication skills they had gained and the change it would make to the care they could provide patients.

Cardiac Clinical Nurse Specialist Julie Chirnside said the course made her realise where she had been missing cues from patients to discuss what was important to them.  “Often what we are focused on as health professionals is what we are doing for the patient right now, but they are thinking about what the future holds and we need to be able to support them to consider what they want from end of life care.”

Training involves a half day session outlining ACP and covering legal and technical aspects.  This is followed by two days looking at communication with patients, practising to initiate difficult discussions with patients through role playing with actors, and then identifying how to overcome challenges in communicating.

Participants in the courses said the role-playing was key to the training and helped identify what communication barriers they needed to overcome and how to handle challenging conversations.

A South Island ACP Champion/Practitioner Peer Support group has also been established so that participants can continue to discuss how to integrate ACP into their work and learn from others in similar situations.

The five South Island DHBs are committed to working together through the South Island Alliance on initiatives that will benefit our health services.  The Alliance’s Health of Older People group, in conjunction with the South Island Regional Training Hub (SIRTH) have facilitated the ACP training as it is a critical component of improving end of life care for people in our communities.  ACP can benefit any health professional who works with patients with long term conditions, either in hospital, community or aged care settings.

The upcoming courses are planned for:

Date Location
16-18 December 2013 Nelson
10-12 February 2014 Invercargill
17-19 March 2014 Christchurch
19-21 March 2014 Christchurch
27-29 March 2014 Queenstown
28-30 March 2014 Queenstown (will cost $1350 +GST)
11-13 June 2014 Dunedin

The course runs for 2.5 days with a maximum of 10 participants.  It costs $900 + GST per registrant (this has been subsidised by Health Workforce New Zealand from $1350+GST).

For further information regarding ACP training please contact Kate Rawlings; or visit

To apply for the training please follow the following links:

2013 training in Nelson:

2014 training courses:

Published on: Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, under Older people health