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Empowering people to have more involvement in their health care - what's it all about?

The consultation has now concluded. We are reviewing all the feedback we received and will be posting the findings here shortly.

How do we involve patient in decisions about their health and wellbeing? Do we do this already? Do we do it effectively?

Patients report they want to be involved in their health and wellbeing, research tells us that people who are more involved have better experiences and improved health. However, we know from conversations we have had with our local GP’s, Practice Nurses, patients and communities, that involving patients in decisions about their health and wellbeing is variable and can be tricky.

So how do we support people to have a stronger voice in decisions about their health and care and is this really what people want?

The traditional relationship between clinicians and patients is for clinicians to solve health problems - find out what’s wrong and fix it. But what if a different approach was taken? Such as spending time finding out what matters to a patient, finding solutions together that work for the patient and inviting and enabling them to make it happen through shared decision making? Would that be a better approach?

We think shared decision making is the middle ground between the more traditional clinician-centred practice, where patients rely on their doctor or healthcare professional to make decisions about their care, and patient choice, where people are given information and then left to make their own choices. It recognises clinicians have access to knowledge about treatment options, their risks and benefits, while patients have knowledge on what is important to them, their own goals and their preferences. It brings together in a conversation these different contributions and these complementary areas of expertise. Is this the way forward?

Common examples of where it is used include decisions about:

  • undergoing screening or a diagnostic test
  • different medical or surgical procedures
  • self-management of a long-term condition
  • making a change in lifestyle
  • taking medication.

This approach to increasing a patient’s involvement in making decisions about their own treatment and care could be used across the whole health system but we think beginning in GP practices with GP's and Practice Nurse is a good starting point. We could then look at widening out the approach if it successful.

For the approach to be successful, it would require clinicians and patients to re-think their attitudes and expectations. Like all skills, shared decision making needs practice and if local patients and clinicians feel this is the way forward we are committed to ensuring Liverpool has the right knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to put this approach into practice, whether this is through additional training for clinical colleagues or empowering and educating patients.

Do you think we should empower people to have more involvement in their health care? Here's what we are proposing

We are proposing for shared decision making to be implemented in appropriate GP and Practice Nurse consultations.

Some consultations, due to their nature, are not suitable for a shared decision making approach e.g. acute tonsillitis where the treatment option is obvious and restricted, whilst others will be more appropriate e.g. osteoarthritis and other long-term conditions, we are working with clinical colleagues to understand which conditions would be most suitable and would then look at how shared decision making could be used across the health system, i.e. in hospitals and in the community. This engagement is about getting the approach right, understanding what's important for Liverpool people and shaping how we move forward with supporting people who want to be involved in decision about their care to feel empowered to do so..

Please take the time to complete our short survey, share your thoughts through our discussion forum, or both! We would love to hear from you.

How do we involve patient in decisions about their health and wellbeing? Do we do this already? Do we do it effectively?

Patients report they want to be involved in their health and wellbeing, research tells us that people who are more involved have better experiences and improved health. However, we know from conversations we have had with our local GP’s, Practice Nurses, patients and communities, that involving patients in decisions about their health and wellbeing is variable and can be tricky.

So how do we support people to have a stronger voice in decisions about their health and care and is this really what people want?

The traditional relationship between clinicians and patients is for clinicians to solve health problems - find out what’s wrong and fix it. But what if a different approach was taken? Such as spending time finding out what matters to a patient, finding solutions together that work for the patient and inviting and enabling them to make it happen through shared decision making? Would that be a better approach?

We think shared decision making is the middle ground between the more traditional clinician-centred practice, where patients rely on their doctor or healthcare professional to make decisions about their care, and patient choice, where people are given information and then left to make their own choices. It recognises clinicians have access to knowledge about treatment options, their risks and benefits, while patients have knowledge on what is important to them, their own goals and their preferences. It brings together in a conversation these different contributions and these complementary areas of expertise. Is this the way forward?

Common examples of where it is used include decisions about:

  • undergoing screening or a diagnostic test
  • different medical or surgical procedures
  • self-management of a long-term condition
  • making a change in lifestyle
  • taking medication.

This approach to increasing a patient’s involvement in making decisions about their own treatment and care could be used across the whole health system but we think beginning in GP practices with GP's and Practice Nurse is a good starting point. We could then look at widening out the approach if it successful.

For the approach to be successful, it would require clinicians and patients to re-think their attitudes and expectations. Like all skills, shared decision making needs practice and if local patients and clinicians feel this is the way forward we are committed to ensuring Liverpool has the right knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to put this approach into practice, whether this is through additional training for clinical colleagues or empowering and educating patients.

Do you think we should empower people to have more involvement in their health care? Here's what we are proposing

We are proposing for shared decision making to be implemented in appropriate GP and Practice Nurse consultations.

Some consultations, due to their nature, are not suitable for a shared decision making approach e.g. acute tonsillitis where the treatment option is obvious and restricted, whilst others will be more appropriate e.g. osteoarthritis and other long-term conditions, we are working with clinical colleagues to understand which conditions would be most suitable and would then look at how shared decision making could be used across the health system, i.e. in hospitals and in the community. This engagement is about getting the approach right, understanding what's important for Liverpool people and shaping how we move forward with supporting people who want to be involved in decision about their care to feel empowered to do so..

Please take the time to complete our short survey, share your thoughts through our discussion forum, or both! We would love to hear from you.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded. We are reviewing all your feedback and will be sharing the findings here shortly.

    Shared Decision Making



    The consultation has now concluded. We are reviewing all the feedback we received and will be posting the findings here shortly.