Supporting Patients and Clinicians in Shared Decision Making

NICE Guidance for Patients and Clinicians on Shared Decision Making

What is shared decision making?

Shared decision making is when health professionals and patients work together. This puts people at the centre of decisions about their own treatment and care. During shared decision making, it's important that:

  • care or treatment options are fully explored, along with their risks and benefits
  • different choices available to the patient are discussed 
  • a decision is reached together with a health and social care professional.

Benefits of shared decision making

  • Both people receiving and delivering care can understand what's important to the other person.
  • People feel supported and empowered to make informed choices and reach a shared decision about care.  
  • Health and social care professionals can tailor the care or treatment to the needs of the individual.

We support shared decision making through our guidance and tools

For people receiving care

  • The care and support you receive should take into account your needs and preferences.
  • You have the right to be involved in discussions, and make decisions about your treatment and care, together with your health or care professional.
  • Patient decision aids support conversations and help patients make informed choices.  We've developed several tools to support shared decision making for specific conditions.

Read more about making decisions about your care.

For people delivering care

We've updated all of our guidelines to highlight the importance of balancing professional judgment and expertise with the needs and wishes of people receiving care.  

Read more about making decisions using NICE guidelines.

Read our shared learning case study with Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA). AQuA worked with with 32 national teams to share and embed a culture of shared decision making. They developed training resources, patient engagement leaflets, decision grids, recording mechanisms and case studies.

Patient decision aids 

NICE patient decision aids

We have created a collection of patient decision aids and other decision support tools that we add to as we develop our guidance.

NHS RightCare

Our colleagues at NHS RightCare have also published a collection of patient decision aids to support people to make decisions about their care.

NICE evidence search

NICE evidence search allows you to search for patient decision aids developed by other producers. We are adding to the collection all the time so if something is missing let us know.