Starting conversations

What is shared decision making?

Shared decision making is a key component of healthcare today. It opens up conversations between patients and healthcare professionals, leading to better treatment decisions and health outcomes for the patient.

Shared decision making enables patients to align their preferences to treatment options. The healthcare professional uses their knowledge of the patient’s clinical condition to explain the treatment options, the benefits and risks. The patient then makes an informed decision, which best meets their needs and preferences.

While shared decision-making allows patients to have an input in their care, it does not mean they can choose clinical treatments that are not evidence based.


Decision aids

To support shared decision making, our patients can access decision aids to help them understand the available treatment options before speaking with a healthcare professional. Decision aids also outline the positives and negatives of each treatment option.


Gain a better understanding

For further information on shared decision making, visit the NHS England website.

Option Grids, which support shared decision making for a wide range of conditions, are also available on the NHS England website.