Decision making and consent – tell us what you think
Good communication and decision making are at the heart of the doctor-patient relationship. But we know it can be challenging to get it right.
guidance (originally published in 2008) explains the good practice principles for making decisions about care, from the treatment of minor conditions to major interventions with significant risks or side effects.
Our guidance applies to all doctors registered with us, whatever their grade, specialty or UK location, so it is necessarily high level. It’s important that it represents common ground between the profession, public and service providers established through extensive consultation. It must also reflect how individual patients, carers and members of the public experience healthcare - particularly those with unequal access to care or with significant needs, such as patients with impaired capacity.
We’ve worked with a group of doctors, patients, and other health and care professionals to update our guidance, to make sure it’s still clear, consistent with the law across the UK and easy for doctors to refer to and use.
What have we done so far?
We’ve gathered evidence through our own and commissioned research
as well as engagement, to understand what issues to address. And we’ve redrafted the guidance to:
- focus on how doctors can support patient decision making and involve patients in decisions about their care as far as possible
- focus on the importance of doctors finding out what is meaningful for their patients, and helping them explore the different options
- include practical suggestions and examples to explain how the principles apply
- make it more accessible by referring less to the law and more to the principles on which the law is based.
You can read more about the review, and access the draft guidance, on our website