Engaging Staff

Staff are the greatest available resource to support the spread of Shared Decision Making across your local health system. As we move from Primary Care Trusts to Clinical Commissioning Groups and Commissioning Support Units it is worth considering all the teams that might be considered as a staff group with regard to SDM. This may include clinical teams, primary care teams, commissioning support teams and CCG management teams.

It is widely accepted that the active involvement of staff is an essential requirement for any quality improvement process or project, yet such initiatives in the NHS have not generally secured the full engagement of clinicians. One way of supporting staff engagement is to communicate through a workshop or engagement session with key staff groups. Attached is an agenda for an SDM workshop, please note this is not training on ‘How to do Shared Decision Making’ but is intended to support the development of a local programme through engagement with staff.

Engagement with clinical teams on ‘How to do shared decision making’ is important in supporting a shift in culture of local services to engaging with the patient as partners in their own care. The basic structure of the Shared Decision Making process is:

  1. Choice talk: introducing the patient to the fact there are choices they can make about their treatment and management;
  2. Option talk: describing the options available, sometimes using decision support tools to help present and discuss the evidence in terms of potential benefits, risks and consequences;
  3. Decision talk: helping patients explore their personal preferences and to use these, together with the evidence, to make an informed decision.

Train the Trainer resources have been developed by AQuA specifically to support the development of a Shared Decision Making approach in clinical teams. See the link below for further details:

“The SDM communication chart is a tool for proactively planning communications on your Shared Decision Making Project. You list all the staff groups and stakeholders who will need to be told things, or to whom you must listen along one axis; and all the information that will need to be communicated along the other axis. An example communication chart has been populated below, which can be used as a template for developing your own communication chart.

  • Example communication chart – need to create PDF of this