NHS England publishes tools for shared decision-making between clinicians and patients

NHS England has published eight decision tools designed to support shared decision-making between clinicians and patients.

The tools have been developed in accordance with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) standards framework for shared decision-making support tools and explain treatment, care and support options to help the patient decide what matters most to them. The conditions covered at present include Dupuytren’s conctracture; carpal tunnel syndrome; hip osteoarthritis; knee osteoarthritis; further treatment for atrial fibrillation; cataracts; glaucoma; and wet age-related macular degeneration.

Each tool provides information about the condition and its listed treatments. It defines the condition and gives the patient the opportunity to personalise the tool to their own experience by marking down how they would score their symptoms. This provides patient with the opportunity to highlight what matters most to them in terms of treatment, from the areas of life in which the condition is most affecting them, to the issues they would like support with, such as pain, sleep, mental health or managing at work.

The tools make suggestions for self-care and provide information on treatments such as drugs and surgery, including the potential risks, benefits, recovery times, and what to expect afterwards.

They also ask patients how they feel about the options provided before moving onto the decision-making section, encouraging the patient to indicate their preferred option at that time, any questions they have, and next steps.

NHS England note that some tools are designed to be printed so that patients can write on them and keep them for reference, whilst an electronic version may be more suitable in other cases. “When incorporating these tools into care pathways, teams should develop a system to ensure that patients have access to a tool prior to their clinical appointment,” the website states.

More information can be found here.

NHS England intend to build on the existing tools and publish more as they become available.