Todd Manning says there is growing evidence of the benefits of shared decision making on patient experience and outcomes


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The covid-19 pandemic has seen extraordinary pressures put on the NHS and the impact it has had on those living with long-term conditions in particular has been well documented; increasing waiting times for initial consultations, and in turn referrals, diagnosis and treatment.

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At AbbVie, we believe all those involved in the healthcare system, including pharmaceutical companies, have a key role to play in supporting the NHS’ recovery. We can play a key role in identifying and implementing solutions and practices that will help to ease the burden on our services, effectively manage long-term conditions and help achieve the best possible outcomes for patients – this need has never been greater.

We are constantly working on initiatives that aim to support patients to gain access to the future of better care, quicker. One recent initiative is the launch of a new policy report, which aims to look at the role patients (and their carers) should have in the decisions made about their medical care and treatment, known as Shared Decision Making.

SDM is widely agreed to be an important part of ensuring the right decision is made for the right patient, at the right time. It allows people to be supported to understand the care, treatment and support options available, as well as the risks, benefits and consequences of those options. With SDM in place, patients are more able to decide on a preferred course of action, basing this on relevant information about the treatments or interventions available to them and their personal preferences. The Patient’s Association explains that “patients who have been active participants in making decisions about their care typically enjoy better outcomes, are less likely to regret decisions they’ve made, and often opt for less invasive procedures”. SDM has been a central tenet in health and care services in England for several years and there is growing evidence of the benefits of SDM on patient experience and outcomes.

The report, Empowering Conversations: Making ‘Shared Decision Making’ a reality for patients in an evolving NHS, draws on the findings of AbbVie’s consultation with key patient advocacy groups, national health and professional bodies and parliamentarians to understand how covid-19 has impacted the wide-adoption of SDM across NHS services, but also how SDM could help to ensure more effective treatment plans are agreed, which in turn could contribute to improved patient outcomes.

To read the new report, please visit here.

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AbbVie is a global, research-driven biopharmaceutical company committed to developing innovative advanced therapies for some of the world’s most complex and critical conditions. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to markedly improve treatments across five primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology, eye care and neuroscience. In more than 75 countries, AbbVie employees are working every day to advance health solutions for people around the world. For more information about AbbVie, please visit us at Follow us on twitter: @abbvieuk.