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*UPDATED* Vaccine info, general info and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions in place.

Info for patients & carers

Let’s all be realistic about the future of medicine

There’s lots of chat in the medical world about Realistic Medicine, but as a patient, do you know what it means?

According to our lead on Realistic Medicine within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Dr Alastair Ireland, one of the biggest implications for patients is around Shared Decision Making.

Dr Ireland’s message is there are two experts in the room – and YOU are one of them.

He said: “We are reminded that there are two experts in every contact between the professions and people we are looking after – one advising on the options and the other having a chance to describe and ask questions about what is right for them.

“We are going to be trying to give information to you in a way which is clearer and less confusing but also gives you more say in which of the options which might work for you, would be more suitable to your own circumstances’”

Asking the right questions matters

To help make sure you have all the information you need to make the right decisions about your care, please ask your healthcare professional:

  • Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?
  • What are the potential benefits and risks?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • Are there simpler, safer or other treatment options?
  • What would happen if I did nothing?

We hope that in future individual services in NHSGGC will develop more detailed information about the procedures they may be suggesting to enable you to think about what would be right for you, rather than simply what we think. Occasionally not doing anything, despite our offer of treatment, might be right for you at that time and we need to let you feel that you have enough information to choose wisely.

In NHSGGC we are going to begin work on these recommendations as soon as possible and are keen to hear from teams who wish learn more and act as pilot sites.

If you want further information about Realistic Medicine, you can read more at: or contact Alastair Ireland, email: [email protected]

Last Updated: 27 December 2019