Why use SPICT™?

SPICT™ is a clinical tool used by health and care professionals around the world.  SPICT™ helps identify people with general indicators of poor or deteriorating health, and one or more advanced, conditions or a new serious illness. SPICT™ looks for changes in health status, and increasing care and support needs. 

Many people (particularly with organ failure, frailty or multimorbidity) can benefit from well-coordinated care planning and earlier palliative care integrated with the best available treatment of underlying illnesses.

SPICT™ 2019 is available in many languages, and as e-SPICT™.
SPICT-LIS™ is adapted for lower-income countries/settings.
SPICT-4ALL™ is in lay language suitable for care workers, patients and families.

Ways to use SPICT™

  • SPICT™ has 6 general indicators of deteriorating health and increasing care needs, including trigger events (e.g. hospital or care home admission).
    Use them to prompt an assessment and/or SPICT indicators of advanced conditions.
  • SPICT™ also outlines six core aspects of palliative care and future care planning. 

Use RED-MAP framework and resources to guide conversations about care planning. (New window)

Other tools used with SPICT™

Where access to palliative care depends on estimated life expectancy, cohort research based on 2 or more SPICT™ general indicators gives a population risk of dying within 12 months. However, prognosis for an individual remains variable and uncertain. (Publications)

Key steps in future care planning

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (ihub) – Anticipatory care planning

Used with permission from Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Improvement Hub 

Benefits of using SPICT™ 

  • Offers people opportunities to talk about their health declining and ‘what matters’ to them including things they hope to do, would like to happen, or wish to avoid.
  • Gives priority to maintaining a person’s quality of life, and involving the people who are close to them.
  • Ensures that any available disease-modifying treatments of benefit are combined with good symptom control and other aspects of palliative care.
  • Reduces the risk of  complex treatment and care decisions in a ‘crisis’ by making emergency care plans for acute illness or complications (including for family caregiver changes).
  • Encourages people to appoint a proxy decision-maker (Power of Attorney) and/or make ‘advance decisions’ about any treatments they do not want in the future.
  • Improves communication, continuity of care, current and future care planning; and multi-disciplinary team work.
  • Includes family members and other carers so they receive the help and support they need.