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Think Ahead for GPs, Specialists and Healthcare Teams

Think Ahead for GPs, Specialists and Healthcare Teams


We offer ongoing trainings for healthcare professionals on how to use Think Ahead Planning Packs in your practice. To arrange training with your organisation, please contact [email protected] or call (01) 963 1161.

Video Resources

Lunch & Learn GP Sessions

If you missed our Lunch & Learn session for GPs, you can watch it back below, or on the IHF YouTube Channel. 

More from Think Ahead

Watch our Codes of Practice introduction for Advance Care Planning

Purchase Think Ahead

Think Ahead Planning Packs are available to GPs at bulk rates. Think Ahead Planning Packs are not for resale, so the institution must be committed to making sure these forms are provided free of charge to their staff, patients, or community members.

You can order directly from this website, or by ringing (01) 679 3188. IHF also provides leaflets and posters free of charge by request.

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The Advance Healthcare Directive included in the Think Ahead Planning Pack became a legally binding document with the commencement of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill on 26 April 2023.

About Think Ahead

Your patients may arrive to an appointment or to a new care facility with a Medical Summary Form or with the entire Think Ahead Planning Pack. Discussing end of life with people can be difficult, but it is a great opportunity for you to start this conversation with them and answer any questions they may have.

Make a copy of any forms presented to you and put these forms in the patient’s file. Ask your patient what their goals are and what matters to them about their end of life care. Ask your patient if they have questions about life-sustaining treatments, specifically which they may refuse or request in their Advance Healthcare Directive.

Make sure you know what to look for in an Advance Healthcare Directive. In order to be legal, the document must be signed and dated by the Directive Maker (your patient), their Designated/Alternate Healthcare Representatives (if appointed), and two witnesses. One of the witnesses may be a family member, but the other one must not be.

You may also give a Think Ahead Planning Pack, or a leaflet on Think Ahead, to your patient. Generally, a person needs to have about three conversations to complete an advance care plan. They may have questions on treatment options that would be available to them at end of life. Don’t dismiss your patient’s questions–even when it is uncomfortable, it is important to be gentle but truthful about what might happen in the future.

Remember, with the commencement of the Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) (Amendment) Bill, this document is legally-binding when the patient lacks capacity to express or communicate their choices. Knowing what a patient wants for their end of life care will assist you and the patient’s entire healthcare team in providing the best care possible.

We are currently seeking funding to provide free Think Ahead Planning Packs to eligible groups. If you are aware of funding opportunities, please contact [email protected]