Doctors should write directly to patients in Plain English

Tue, 4 September 2018

Today the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges released guidance calling for hospital doctors to write outpatient clinic letters directly to patients, free of jargon or confusing language.

Commenting on the guidance, Don Redding, Director of Policy at National Voices, the coalition of health and care charities in England said:

"This guidance will be extremely welcome to patients, who need quick, clear, tailored information in order to manage their healthcare. Doctors who write directly to patients find it really helps to create an informed partnership.

"However, this also shows how far away the idea of a so-called paperless NHS remains. Letter writing is a quaint practice that should be replaced by direct access to our full digital records, and the sharing of these between services like outpatients and GPs."