In this guest blog for the Patient Safety Commissioner's Office, Rachel Power, Chief Executive of The Patients Association describes progress that has been made in engaging patients in healthcare since the publication of the Patient’s Charter in 1991. She highlights the results of various surveys and reports by The Patients Association that show a mixed picture of how well patients are being engaged in their care. She also looks at barriers to patient-centred care and shared decision making that need to be addressed.
The blog ends with calls to the health system to:
- Enhance provision of information to facilitate patient/professional conversations
- Support patients to ask questions and participate in decisions
- Support patients to understand treatment options and consequences
- Promote consistency of care across different patient groups
- Strengthen accountability for treatment decisions and complaints
- Improve accessibility of medical records
- Provide resources to help patients understand medical language
- Provide comprehensive training in shared decision-making
- Support consistent shared decision-making practices among clinicians
- Create a culture of shared learning among healthcare staff.