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Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

CMO advocates BRAN questions

"In a health and care conversation, there are two experts, the professional who has technical knowledge and skill, and the person receiving care who is expert in their life and what matters to them. That’s why sharing decisions between professionals and patients is one of the key principles of Realistic Medicine."

"Shared decision making leads to better, more meaningful conversations and better treatment decisions. This not only improves outcomes for individual patients, but we know it also helps us tackle overtreatment. We must further embed shared decision making across Scotland, and view it as a genuinely collaborative approach involving healthcare professionals and patients working together."

"In order for people to reach the right decision for them, they need to be able to weigh up the potential benefits, harms and limitations of the available options. We have therefore included the Choosing Wisely (BRAN) questions, in the Near Me virtual waiting room (from Thursday 18th of February). This will display a box on the screen with the following text:"

Make an informed choice about your test and treatment options
Ask your healthcare professionals the BRAN questions:

  • What are the Benefits?
  • What are the Risks?
  • What are the Alternatives?
  • What if I do Nothing?

"Encouraging people to think ‘BRAN’ before their appointment will help them prepare, and be able to actively engage in the conversation."

"As health and care professionals, we need to be able to communicate risk in a way that people can understand. I consider encouraging people to ask these questions during consultations to be a big step forward and expect them to be of real benefit to patients, helping them make an informed choice about the treatment that’s right for them."

"NHS Education Scotland (NES) have also produced an online training module on all aspects of shared decision-making. It includes a section on how we can best convey risk so that people can make informed choices about their treatment."

"The module requires a Turas log in. All health and care staff can register for a TURAS account here:"

"Please encourage your patients to ask the BRAN questions. It will help make sure they receive care they really value."

"Where it is inappropriate to display the BRAN questions, such as for appointments outwith Health, these can be turned off by your waiting area administrator. Go to the Waiting Area’s settings and select During Call then set the Display Waiting Area bulletin to Off. If you have any problems, please contact the National VC Team at [email protected]"

Dr Gregor Smith, CMO for Scotland

Last Updated: 01 September 2021