Shared Decision Making

Two women at a desk one is using a wheelchair

Personalised care does not work without shared decision-making (SDM). Helping people make well-informed, holistic decisions about their health and wellbeing. Decisions should be made in a collaborative way, with patients receiving timely information and advice on benefits and risks from clinicians and healthcare professionals.

We know that even when people want to be involved in decisions about their health and care, they may not always have all the information they need. 

SDM means supporting people to:

  • understand the care, treatment and support options available and the risks, benefits and consequences of those options
  • make a decision about a preferred course of action, based on evidence-based, good quality information and their personal preferences

When people make their own decisions about their health, the evidence is that they are much more likely to follow treatment plans to benefit from them.

When treatment options, potential risks and benefits are discussed alongside a patent's goals, values and beliefs, the best plan for that person can be developed.

It is particularly useful in cases where there is more than one reasonable course of action and the individual would benefit from understanding in detail, the potential trade-offs of one decision over the other.

No decision about me, without me

People have a right to be as involved in their care as they want to be. 


Updated: 02/10/2022