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Making it work

Shared decision-making and people with learning disabilities

13 June 2013
Shared decision-making with people with learning disabilities will bring health care professionals and nurses in particular, into a process in which both parties jointly decide on health care treatments, management plans and support packages, based on the best available evidence and the informed choices of people with learning disabilities. 

Shared decision-making with people with learning disabilities will bring health care professionals and nurses in particular, into a process in which both parties jointly decide on health care treatments, management plans and support packages, based on the best available evidence and the informed choices of people with learning disabilities.

This process will very often involve the person’s family, supporters and those closest to the person with a learning disability; the aim is to reach an agreement on the best course of action whilst at the same time acting in the person’s best interests.

People with learning disabilities want information about their health presented in a meaningful way, and the chance to have an equal say about their care. The proper practice of shared decision making will involve people with a learning disability as equal partners in their health care, giving individuals an opportunity to actively participate in their own care, and bringing the potential for raising the quality and effectiveness of health care within the NHS in relation to people with learning disabilities.

If you have any comments or wish to contribute further, please email policy.international@rcn.org.uk

Page last updated - 14/08/2015