Choice and Shared Decision Making

Healthcare is changing. Increasingly people want to understand more about their healthcare choices. They want better information and the chance to have a say in their care. Having a say in your own care can improve health outcomes.

National patient surveys have shown that 48% of inpatients and 30% of outpatients wanted more involvement in decisions about their care than they had, so that there really is ‘no decision about me, without me’.

We want you, and your family and carers, to be able to make informed choices about your healthcare, which includes:

  • The right to choose a GP and to change to another if you are not happy with the service you receive.
  • The right to choose which hospital to go to if your GP refers you to see a specialist.
  • The right to be involved in decisions about your healthcare and to be given the information you need to do this.


You can find further information about Choice at the links below:

Choose Well - Find local health services near you

Choice in the NHS - Your guide to making the health service work for you – Find out what “Choice” means in the 21st Century health service and learn how you can take control of your health and treatment. The Choice Framework is a guide to your choices about your NHS care and treatment and explains:

  • when you have choices about your health care
  • where to get more information to help you choose
  • how to complain if you are not offered choice

Choose and Book – Find out about Choose and Book, the service that lets you choose your hospital or clinic and book your first appointment

Search and Compare Care Homes - Find and compare registered home care, residential or nursing homes within your local area.

Shared decision making

We want to make sure that “no decision about me without me” is a reality.

One of the ways we can achieve this is by making sure you are fully involved in decisions made about your care. Shared Decision Making is the conversation that happens between you and your health professional to reach a healthcare choice together. This conversation needs you and your health professional to understand what is important to the other person when choosing a treatment.

Patient Decision Aids are specially designed information resources that help people make decisions about difficult healthcare options. They will help you to think about why one option is better for you than another. People's views change over time depending on their experiences and who they talk to. Understanding what is important to you about your decision will help you choose the option that is best for you.

You can work through the online Patient Decision Aids in your own time, alone or supported by family and friends, or by a team of specially trained telephone health coaches.

You can read more about using a decision aid here.