National Voices responds to launch of Choosing Wisely campaign

Mon, 24 October 2016

National Voices responds to the Academy of Medical Royal College launching the Choosing Wisely campaign. The medical body has published a list of 40 treatments and procedures that they deem to be of little or no benefit to patients.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges has today (24 October 2016) launched its Choosing Wisely campaign. The medical body has published a list of 40 treatments and procedures that they deem to be of little or no benefit to patients.

Commenting on the campaign, Andrew McCracken from National Voices, the coalition of health and care charities, said:

It is good that the medical community is doing more to deter use of treatments for which there is little evidence. Most important is that decisions about treatment are made jointly with patients, with their views and preferences being a key factor in any decision.

There is evidence that patients choose less aggressive treatments when they are fully informed of the potential benefits and harms and have the opportunity to discuss them with a clinician. 

Choosing a treatment is often not just a question of clinical effectiveness, but of balancing the pros and cons. People's values, preferences and life circumstances will have a strong bearing on those decisions. 

There is compelling evidence that patients who are active participants in managing their health and health care have better outcomes than patients who are passive recipients of care.

Shared decision-making is a process by which people are involved as equal and active partners with the clinician in clarifying acceptable medical options and choosing a preferred course of care that is appropriate to the individual. For example, faced with a similar treatment decision, one person may prefer surgery that removes pain but requires long recovery; another may prefer ‘watchful waiting’ and pain management.

Engaging people in decisions about their own care and treatment is a core componens of person-centred care.

In 2014 National Voies published a summary of the evidence for shared decision making.