1 Advice and support for shared decision making when arranging planned care

1 Advice and support for shared decision making when arranging planned care

1.1 When offering planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services in the context of COVID‑19:

  • Make reasonable adjustments to ensure information is accessible to all people (for example, those with a language barrier or learning disability). For further advice on supporting people to make their own decisions, see NICE's guideline on decision making and mental capacity.

  • Discuss the possible outcomes of the procedure or investigation with patients (and their families and carers as appropriate) before reaching a shared decision. This should include:

    • the benefits of having the planned care, and the effects on their health and wellbeing of postponing or not having it

    • ensuring that the patient understands the risks associated with COVID‑19 during the planned care and has given informed consent

    • alternative options if the planned care is declined by the patient or postponed.

  • Agree an admission and discharge plan, and follow-up arrangements for patients having elective surgery.

  • Explain that UK government infection prevention and control measures will be used to reduce the risk of getting COVID‑19.

1.2 When discussing the risks of getting COVID‑19, discuss the factors that may inform the patient's decision to have planned care, including:

  • individual factors associated with an increased risk of getting or becoming severely ill with COVID‑19, such as older age, sex, and whether the patient is from a black, Asian or other minority ethnic group, or has any underlying conditions (for example, is clinically extremely vulnerable; see recommendation 3.5)

  • individual circumstances such as occupation (for example, working with other people) or living arrangements (multigenerational, hospice or social care) that might increase their risk of exposure to SARS‑CoV‑2 before and after planned care (see recommendation 3.5)

  • UK government local and national prevalence data on COVID‑19 (see recommendation 8.1) that might affect their risk of exposure to SARS‑CoV‑2 before and after planned care.