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About The SDM Programme

The aim of the Right Care Shared Decision Making Programme is to embed Shared Decision Making in NHS care. This is part of the wider ambition to promote patient centred care, to increase patient choice, autonomy and involvement in clinical decision making and make “no decision about me, without me” a reality.The Shared Decision Making programme is part of the Quality Improvement Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) Right Care programme.In 2012, the programme entered an exciting new phase and, through three workstreams, is aiming to embed the practice of shared decision making among patients and those who support them, and among health professionals and their educators.

1) Developing tools which support shared decision making, and the provision of decision coaching

In this workstream, 36 Patient Decision Aids (PDAs) are being created during 2012, designed to help patients understand and consider the pros and cons of possible treatment options and to encourage communication between them and their healthcare professionals. The PDAs feature evidence-based information, images, diagrams and animations.

The PDAs will be available online and in paper format, so patients and their carers, if appropriate, can examine their options in their own time. A ‘short form’ version will be available which can be used in or outside the consultation. Mobile Apps are also be developed so the information can be accessible anywhere.

Decision coaching is also a key part of this workstream and healthcare advisors, all of whom are fully qualified nurses with at least 10 years of experience, are being trained to offer telephone support, developing patients’ confidence and skills in using the tools to deliberate their options.

This element of the programme is being delivered by Totally Health.

2) Embedding Shared decision making in NHS systems and processes

Making SDM a reality for patients can only be achieved if it is systematically streamlined into routine NHS processes, steering clear of lengthy bureaucratic processes.

Activities in this workstream include a focus on integrating shared decision making so it becomes an integral part of the patient and clinician pathway. The PDAs, for example, need to be easily accessible on recognised NHS platforms, such as Choose and Book, NHS Choices, GP patient record systems and Map of Medicine.

As well as embedding shared decision making from the provider perspective, this workstream is integrating SDM into policies, commissioning systems and consent procedures. The programme will be providing information, insight and advice about how the NHS Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can deliver on their statutory duties, including practical tools and processes, and indicators of what ‘good commissioning of shared decision making would look like’ at NHS Commissioning Board and CCG level.

This element of the programme is being delivered by Capita Business Services.

3) Creating a receptive culture for shared decision making

Our biggest challenge to embedding shared decision making in routine NHS care is to create a nationwide paradigm shift so patients expect to be routinely involved in decisions about their care. This requires a change in the current patient-clinician dynamic so that clinicians work with patients to encourage and respond to their greater involvement and patients take a stronger interest in being involved.

In this workstream, a training and education programme is being developed for providers, including nurses, GPs, consultants and NHS managers, as well as commissioners.

Alongside that, undergraduate and postgraduate medical training is being developed on enhanced communication skills and shared decision making, and it is aimed to work with clinical education providers to embed and enhance their curricula. Video and wiki tools are also being created to support these workstreams.

Harnessing a multi-media approach to foster a social movement for shared decision making, the programme will be raising awareness amongst patients, their carers and the wider public, working with partners such as Patient Opinion and advocates within the voluntary sector.

This element of the programme is being delivered by AQuA (Advancing Quality Alliance).

Further Information

For further information please see the RightCare website