Our staff communicate with patients every day. This includes all kinds of communications, such as telephone calls, letters, emails, text messages, patient information leaflets and videos, our website, MY CARE, and more.

We want to make sure our communications with patients are the best they can be. The NHS also has a legal duty to communicate accessibly and inclusively.

To help our staff communicate with patients, we are proposing ten principles to guide all our communications with patients. Please let us know what you think about them.

The principles will be the basis of a new policy aimed at improving our patient communications. The policy will launch in early spring 2024.

Please note that this is an anonymous survey. Your responses will not be attributed to you personally. Please do not input any personal identifiable information into this survey, such as your name or contact details. For more information about how we process your data, please see our privacy notice.

Thank you for your help to create our policy.

Other formats
  • Please contact us if you need the survey in another format or language
  • You can email us at: rduh.patientexperience@nhs.net
  • You can call us at: 01392 402093 (Patient Advice and Liaison Service - Eastern) or 01271 335760 (Patient Advice and Liaison Service - Northern)
Royal Devon proposed patient communication principles

In our patient communications we will:

1. Be person-centred, focussing on a person’s specific care and addressing the patient directly wherever possible

2. Enable clear shared decision making and mechanisms for the patient to provide a response.

3. Use clear, honest and easy-to-understand language, with a kind, compassionate, polite and active tone

4. Ask all patients about their communication needs; record them appropriately (on epic); and share the information with the right people, so that we always take account of a person’s communication requirements, in-line with the Accessible Information Standard 2016

5. Enable patients to indicate a communication preference appropriate to their needs and circumstances, based on a range of available methods.

6. Follow the ‘TALK principles’ from Communications Access UK: giving a person Time to communicate; Asking what helps; Listening (and looking) carefully; Keep trying – as communication is a two-way process.

7. Provide clear information about a person’s care and any next steps in their patient journey; including a credible source of further information, how to ask questions, and how to amend/cancel appointments.

8. Ensure an inclusive communications method for each patient, considering their personal circumstances (condition, regional variations, socioeconomic factors and protected-characteristics).

9. Be timely (the policy sets out expected timeframes for communications with patients) and efficient (making the best use of NHS resources).

10. Give due regard to security, confidentiality and other information governance requirements.

1. Do you agree with the following statement?

'The proposed principles describe what is needed for the Trust to communicate clearly, effectively and inclusively with all its patients.' *


2. Is there anything important missing from our patient communication principles?


3. Do you have any further thoughts about how we can improve our patient communications in general?