Shared Decision Making

Shared decision-making means that individuals can be supported by clinicians and other professionals to make health and care decisions that are right for them, based on their personal aims and goals.

The PRSB has launched a project to standardise shared decision-making, so that good practice can be the norm across the UK. We held a workshop with 130 individuals and professionals to determine what should be included in the standard, so that information about care and treatment options including benefits and risks can be recorded in the right way. The project has attracted a diverse range of people from across the UK, with particularly strong representation from Scotland and Wales. The standard will include queries from individuals and discussion about options, consent for treatment, when it is agreed, and any pre-operative assessments and requirements.

In addition to our usual methods of consultation, we also used a series of successful role play workshops to test the standard in action and then made additional tweaks based on the results.

Shared decision-making should improve relationships between professionals and people using services and ensure people are more involved in decisions about their care and health. It should help people to have a clear understanding of the benefits and risks of treatment options. Greater use of shared decision making should also reduce variations in care and ensure resources are used more effectively across the health and care system. Standards will ensure that information can be shared consistently using any digital system.

A further phase of consultation and pilot testing the standard is currently being planned before its publication.

Zoe’s story

“I’d always hoped that the process of shared decision making could be standardised, to ensure that people get the level of care they need and deserve. I became involved with the PRSB project to support the development of a standard because it’s the key to enabling patients to receive equality of care in relation to information sharing and treatment decisions”.

Zoe McNeill

PRSB patient representative