National surveys tell us that over 30% of people want to be more involved in decisions about their care; this situation has hardly changed in a decade. In addition, research studies have consistently shown that when people are more involved in decisions they:
- have fewer regrets about decisions;
- report better relationships with clinicians;
- adhere better to treatment; and
- report a better experience including more satisfaction with the outcome.
In other words, shared decision making has a fundamental impact on the safety and effectiveness of personalised care.
This means that by involving people in decisions about their health and care we will improve health and wellbeing, improve the quality of care and ensure people make informed use of available healthcare resources. Involving people in their own health and care not only adds value to people’s lives, it creates value for the taxpayer. The challenge now is to shift the focus of care and support services from ‘what is the matter with you?’ towards ‘what matters to you?’