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It’s ok to ask

We want you to play an active part in your care and treatment, based on ‘what matters to you’. Making sure you understand what’s going on with your health, so you can make better decisions around your care and treatment. Shared decision making is the term the NHS and healthcare use to describe this; when people and doctors, nurses or health care professionals work together to make evidence based decisions centred on what matters to you and your goals.

You are an equal and active partner in your life and care. You are the expert in you and what matters to you. The doctor, nurse or healthcare professional is an expert in the options for your treatment. Knowing more about you and what matters to you can help doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals give you the best advice and care. This may be to select a test or intervention such as going ahead with surgery or choosing a different treatment option.

Imagine a world where you…

  • Feel that it’s ok to ask.
  • Are really working with your doctors, nurses and healthcare .professionals to share decisions as equals.
  • Are involved in the options and treatment decisions.
  • Think about the questions you want to ask at your health appointment.
  • Get the information you need from doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Peter’s Journey with subtitles please watch here

Asking the right questions

When you understand what’s going on with your health, you can make better decisions around your care and treatment. Knowing more about you can help doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals give you the best advice and care.

By the end of a health appointment we want to be able to answer these questions together:

When you are deciding on treatments it is OK to Ask:

Preparing for your appointment

  • Feel free to bring a family member or friend to your appointment. They can ask questions too and help you remember what is said and take notes.
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your healthcare professional if you don’t understand what they’ve said.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed about asking your healthcare professional to explain things again.
  • Ask your healthcare professional to write down and explain any words you don’t know or understand.
  • Write your questions down before the appointment to make sure you ask everything you want to.
  • Remember is it ok to ask again if anything is unclear.
  • Write notes about your symptoms, medicines or other health issues to take with you.

Complete an ‘About Me

Complete an ‘About Me’ form before your appointment and take it with you. It is a quick and easy plan, so you can say what matters to you and what is important to you. It will help you have a better conversation with your healthcare professional.

You can complete the ‘About Me’ on paper.

Or you can complete the About Me on the Patient Knows Best (PKB) digital personal health record, which is connected to the NHS App. It will be stored for future appointments. The NHS App and Patient Knows Best has a range of functions to help you manage your healthcare.

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