Quality (286) Patient experience and health outcomes (16) Patient information (5)

20 August, 2021

Dear Richard (Fitton) and all,

Thank you for your interesting message on 18 August wwhere you said: "Patients will find it easier to match expectations and reality when they are treated like adults and when patients, too, routinely have access to the clinical guidelines and care pathways that they are put on - a very easy but rarely practised process."

I would like to invite HIFA members to consider what we may mean when we say 'treat patients like adults'. Can anyone provide examples of where patients are (or were) not treated like adults?

The suggestion that patients should 'routinely have access to the clinical guidelines and care pathways that they are put on' is very interesting. 'Good' medicine involves shared decision making where the benefits and risks of different options are explored. For a patient to access and understand clinical guidelines goes a step further. I would be interested to hear your experience with this. Is there perhaps a need for some guidelines to be written with the patient in mind as the reader? How would this differ from existing patient information resources? What are the challenges, including for those with low health literacy?

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org