Shared decision making starts with the conversation between the person receiving care and the person delivering care.

Shared decision making puts people at the centre of decisions about their own treatment and care by:

  • exploring care or treatment options and their risks and benefits
  • discussing choices available
  • reaching a decision about care or treatment, together with their health and social care professional.

Benefits of shared decision making

  • Both people receiving and delivering care can understand what's important to the other person, when discussing choices and options.
  • People feel supported and empowered to make informed choices and reach a shared decision about care.  
  • Health and social care professionals can tailor the care or treatment to the needs of the individual.

We support shared decision making through our guidance and tools

For people receiving care

  • The care and support you receive should take into account your needs and preferences.
  • You have the right to be involved in discussions, and make decisions about your treatment and care, together with your health or care professional.
  • Read more about making decisions about your care.
  • Patient decision aids support conversations and help patients make informed choices.  We've developed several tools to support shared decision making for specific conditions.

For people delivering care

Shared decision making collaborative

We're working together with partner organisations, to support the wider health and care system to embed shared decision making into routine practice. We are helping to ensure that people who deliver and receive care work together to select tests, treatments and support, based on evidence and what really matters to the individual.

Follow our Twitter hashtag #sharethecare for the latest news and updates about our joint progress.

To get involved or to find out more, contact the team.

Who's involved

There are over 40 organisations working together, including:

  • Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  • Advancing Quality Alliance
  • General Medical Council
  • Health Education England
  • Healthwatch England
  • NHS England and NHS RightCare
  • NICE - and Patients Involved in NICE (PIN)
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Leeds

What's happening

Our organisations have come together to see how we can make shared decision making part of everyday care.

  • Read our consensus statement (pdf) - our joint recommendations to encourage a shared decision making culture.
  • Read our joint action plan (pdf) - how these recommendations will be put into practice.


The leading organisations in our health service are joining forces and committing to a future that will see improved patient-centred care for everyone. 

It’s not just about the words on a page, it’s about making it happen and ensuring that shared decision making becomes an essential part of medical practice.
David Haslam, NICE Chair

Read more