NICE has published new guidelines recommending shared decision making be part of everyday practice across all healthcare settings.

The new guideline offers advice on how to engage people in the shared decision-making process through honest conversation and by providing information resources before, during and after appointments. 

The use of posters and patient decision aid leaflets are recommended to help the process.

The guideline suggests, where possible, organisations should appoint a patient director to support the embedding of shared decision making at the most senior levels of the organisation.

Prof Gillian Leng, NICE chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to see this shared decision making guideline published and we hope it will help people using healthcare services feel more confident in discussing care and treatment options with their healthcare teams." 

Shared decision making standards framework

Alongside the shared decision making guideline, NICE has collaborated with NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop a standards framework to determine whether the quality of shared decision-making support tools, including patient decision aids, is sufficient. 

The framework is designed for people who use patient decision aids, whether they are patients or clinicians. 

It also includes a simple self-assessment tool for people who produce patient decision aids so that they can quality check their processes and products.

PIF director Sophie Randall was part of the expert oversight panel which helped to develop the framework.

It includes a visual summary to make it easier for information producers and patients to use.

The framework aligns closely with the PIF TICK criteria,

James Sanderson, director of personalised Care at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “We very much welcome the new shared decision making guidelines and framework published today by NICE, which encourages this very important conversation between clinicians and the people they are supporting, so the patients we look after get the most appropriate and effective care.

“This is critical in giving people choice and control over their mental and physical health.”

NICE has also collaborated with Keele University to develop a learning package, aimed at healthcare professionals, to help with implementing these recommendations.