Shared decision making

Shared decision making

Statement 3.3

Patients should be supported to make informed, shared decisions about their treatment and care to ensure these take their preferences and goals fully into account.

Why is it important?

Equal and active partners in their own care. Decision-making based not just on the clinical effectiveness of treatments, but also on people’s personal goals and what matters to them.

This is what we mean by personalised care – and NHS organisations across the UK are giving this approach increasing importance.

One of the core components of personalised care is shared decision making. This is about enabling patients to consider their options and discuss the risks, benefits and consequences when deciding on their treatment and care

It’s important here to:

  • Explore fully any care or treatment options, along with their risks and benefits
  • Discuss different choices available to the patient
  • Reach a decision together with a healthcare professional

National Voices has compiled information from 48 systematic reviews. This identified the most effective approaches to supporting shared decision-making including:

  • Decision aids to help people consider the pros and cons of different options
  • Question prompts to help people speak up during consultations
  • Coaching and education to help patients become more engaged
  • Access to medical records

The leading organisations in our health service are joining forces and committing to a future of improved patient-centred care for everyone… where shared decision making becomes an essential part of medical practice.

David Haslam, NICE Chair