Sometimes there will be choices to be made about your healthcare and we encourage you to be a partner in your healthcare.
When patients work with healthcare professionals to make decisions on their health care plan and treatment, this is called shared decision making. Options for your treatment, potential risks and benefits can all be discussed alongside what matters to you, such as your goals, values, and beliefs, as part of the shared decision-making conversation to work towards the best decision for you.
Your family, friends or carers can be involved in this discussion as well if you feel you need additional support to make a decision.
To help empower you to take a more active role in decisions around your care we promote an initiative called Ask 3 Questions to help you think about some of the areas you might want to focus on during conversations with doctors, nurses and therapists.
We encourage you to ask questions whenever you come into contact with the hospital, whether during an outpatient appointment, in the emergency areas, during pre-op assessments and while staying on the ward as an inpatient. And where your relatives, carers and friends are involved in your care they are also urged to ask the questions they feel are important.
Ask 3 Questions provides a starting point to help you think about what matters to you so that you can have meaningful conversations with health professionals about your care and treatment.
Some of the questions that might be helpful when you attend an appointment as an outpatient are:
- What are my options?
- What are the possible benefits and risks of those options?
- What help do I need to make my decision?
If you are staying on one of our wards, asking questions may help you understand what needs to happen before you can leave hospital.
Examples of three questions that may be useful while you are an inpatient on one of our wards are:
- What is keeping me in hospital?
- What do I need to do to be able to leave hospital?
- What will happen after I have left hospital?
These questions are a starting point to help you think about asking about your care, but we encourage you to consider what is important to you and tailor your questions to your own needs and circumstances.