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Cymraeg

Study aims to give Welsh patients ‘more say’ over treatment

02 August 2010

For immediate release

Welsh patients could have more say over their treatment as part of a joint Cardiff University study designed to encourage shared decision making between doctors and patients.

The Making Good Decisions in Collaboration (MAGIC) programme is a joint venture between Cardiff and Newcastle Universities, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The 18-month programme will explore how clinicians engage patients in shared decision making and be embedded into mainstream health services.

"NHS patients report being dissatisfied because they are not consulted about their treatment and they want to be actively involved in making choices about their own healthcare", according to Professor Glyn Elwyn, Director of Research at Cardiff University’s Department of Primary Care and Public Health and Co-Lead for the MAGIC programme.

"Shared decision making recognises that while clinicians are the experts about different treatment options available, the individual is the expert about their own preferences. Shared decision making invites clinicians and patients to share their differing expertise and work together as active partners when making choices about care" he adds.

Professor Glyn Elwyn will work alongside Professor Richard Thomson at Newcastle University on a multidisciplinary ‘design team’ made up of senior academics, clinicians and managers. The programme will run from August 2010 to January 2012.

Shared decision making is known to work well in situations where there is more than one reasonable course of action. Often difficult decisions need to be made based on the amount of risk involved and the potential outcome of each choice.

Professor Elwyn added: "Many good decision support tools exist already, but aren’t widely used. We want to raise awareness of shared decision making and find ways to introduce sustainable change that can be easily replicated in other areas."

The programme will design and test interventions across a range of sites and clinical areas, including, primary care, obstetrics, urology, breast cancer care and ear, nose and throat.

MAGIC will help build practical and transferable knowledge about how shared decision making can become a core characteristic of routine clinical care across the NHS.

The programme is supported by The Health Foundation - an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of healthcare in the UK.

Jo Bibby, Director of Improvement Programmes at the Health Foundation said: "The Health Foundation is supporting the MAGIC programme, because despite strong evidence and a common understanding that shared decision making is good practice, the approach has been slow to spread across the NHS.

"This is because it’s a big culture shift for the health service and means breaking away from the traditional relationship between ‘passive patients’ and ‘expert health professionals.

"We are pleased to be working closely with this multi-disciplinary team to encourage the use of shared decision making."

-Ends-

1. Further information is available by contacting:

Angela Watkins

Communications Officer

School of Medicine

Cardiff University

Tel: 02920 687 190

Email: WatkinsA6@cardiff.ac.uk

For an interview with the Project Manager, contact Natalie Joseph-Williams:

Natalie Joseph-Williams

MAGIC Project Manager

School of Medicine

Cardiff University

Tel: 02920 687 141

Email: JospehNJ1@cardiff.ac.uk

2. School of Medicine

Cardiff University’s School of Medicine is a significant contributor to healthcare in Wales, a major provider of professional staff for the National Health Service and an international centre of excellence for research, delivering substantial health benefits locally and internationally. The school’s 800 staff include 500 research and academic staff who teach more than 2,000 students, including 1,110 postgraduate students.

The School is based at the Heath Park Campus, a site it shares with the University Hospital of Wales, the third largest university hospital in the UK. The School has an all-Wales role, contributing greatly to promoting, enhancing and protecting the nation’s health.

A key partner in this role is the National Health Service (NHS) in Wales, with which the School is linked at all levels. This mutual dependency is illustrated by the teaching of medical undergraduates in more than 150 hospitals located in all of Wales’ health authorities. The medical curriculum followed at the School enables students to acquire and apply knowledge, skills, judgement and attitudes appropriate to delivering a high standard of professional care. Around 300 new doctors currently graduate from the School every year and the Welsh Assembly Government has invested substantially in new teaching facilities to increase this number further

3. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.