Shared decision making is when health professionals and patients work together. This puts people at the centre of decisions about their own treatment and care. During shared decision making, it’s important that:
- Care or treatment options are fully explored, along with their risks and benefits with the patient
- Different choices available to the patient are discussed
- A decision is reached together with a health and social care professional and with the patient.
Benefits of shared decision making
- Both people receiving and delivering care can understand what's important to the other person
- People feel supported and empowered to make informed choices and reach a shared decision about care
- Health and social care professionals can tailor the care or treatment to the needs of the individual.
We support shared decision making through our guidance and tools
For people receiving care:
- The care and support you receive should take into account your needs and preferences
- You have the right to be involved in discussions, and make decisions about your treatment and care, together with your health or care professional
- Patient decision aids support conversations and help patients make informed choices. We've developed several tools to support shared decision making for specific conditions.
- Read more about making decisions about your care.
For people delivering care:
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has updated all of its guidelines to highlight the importance of balancing professional judgment and expertise with the needs and wishes of people receiving care.
- Read more about making decisions using NICE guidelines.
Patient decision aids
- NICE has created a collection of patient decision aids and other decision support tools
- NHS RightCare has published a collection of patient decision aids to support people to make decisions about their care
- NICE evidence search allows you to search for patient decision aids developed by other producers.
For more information:
- NICE Guidance for Patients and Clinicians on Shared Decisions Making
- Choosing Wisely UK is part of a global initiative aimed at improving conversations between patients and their doctors and nurses.