Shared Decision Making

The Government’s ambition is to achieve healthcare outcomes that are amongst the best in the world.

No decision about me, without me. This can only be realised by involving patients fully in their own care, with decisions made in partnership with clinicians, rather than by clinicians alone.

Shared Decision Making is a process in which patients, when they reach a decision crossroads in their health care, can review all the treatment options available to them and participate actively with their healthcare professional in making that decision.

With current, clinical information, relevant to their particular condition, about all the options available to them patients are helped to work through any questions they may have, explore the options available, and take a treatment route which best suits their needs and preferences.

To achieve this, we are encouraging the development of new relationships between patients, carers and clinicians, where they work together, in equal partnership, to make decisions and agree a care plan. In addition, we want to put Shared Decision Making not only at the care level, but also at the strategic and commissioning level, with patients involved in the co-design, co-commissioning and co-production of healthcare.

Without these changes, we cannot achieve the required transformational culture change to support Shared Decision Making.

These webpages aim to provide healthcare professionals, patients and the public with a range of tools and resources that are available to help them to achieve this objective, and embed Shared Decision Making in NHS care.

For further information on these pages on Shared Decision Making, or if you have a suggestion, please email: