DH consultation: ‘Liberating the NHS: No decision about me, without me’
30 Aug 2012
The Department of Health consulted on their proposed model of shared decision-making. The model aims to indicate where patients would be expected to have more say in decisions about their care in primary care; before a diagnosis; at referral to secondary care; and after a diagnosis had been made. The proposals are very broad and there is little detail.
We have broadly welcomed the intention of enabling greater partnership between patients and healthcare professionals. However, we have focused our comments on the information elements of the consultation proposals and used the opportunity to make comments on the Department of Health’s information strategy – The Power of Information.
We have welcomed the principles of the information strategy and stated that we think information can be used to support communication, improve knowledge and promote shared decision making.
We have expressed concerns around three themes:
- Confidentiality – the possible effects of greater patient access to records in terms of protecting confidentially and the way records are made; the greater use of aggregated patient data for research purposes.
- Consent – ensuring valid consent is given for the use of patient records
- Patient expectations – the growing mismatch between what patients expect the NHS to deliver, and the reality of what it can
We have suggested a way of addressing these concerns is to put a greater emphasis on educating patients about their responsibilities for their own information.