Realistic Medicine is not about failing to offer treatments. It is about supporting people using healthcare services, and their families, to feel empowered to discuss their treatment. That’s why changing our style to sharing decisions with our patients is one of our priorities. A move away from the “Doctor knows best” approach to shared decision making between the professional and patient will require more meaningful discussions about the treatment options available as well as their risks and benefits.
There are a number of initiatives underway that aim to support shared decision making. For example:
In order to support patients to get the most out of their conversations with their healthcare professional, posters have been developed and displayed by various health boards across the country. The posters encourage patients to ask questions when consulting their healthcare professionals that aim to support more meaningful conversations and provide patients with informed choices about their treatment options.
The questions are:
We are encouraging all NHS Boards to consider adopting this person centred approach and evaluating their impact.
We advocate supporting people to make informed decisions about their treatment and care, by explaining the risks and benefits of each treatment option. People should be supported to give their healthcare professionals informed consent. It will help transform and strengthen the relationship between individuals and healthcare professionals. Giving informed consent is an important way of practising Realistic Medicine. That’s why we are committed to reviewing the consent process for patients in Scotland with the General Medical Council and Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. The GMC’s consultation on their revised guidance on consent is now open. The GMC are inviting people to comment on their draft guidance via their website, with a view to publishing their new guidance in late 2019.