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AbbVie report calls for much needed improvements to Shared Decision Making in the NHS

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Maidenhead, UK, 24th March, 2021 -- AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, has today launched a policy report looking at the role patients (and their families) should have in the decisions made about their medical care and treatment, known as Shared Decision Making (SDM).  

The report draws on the findings from AbbVie’s roundtable discussions, chaired by Lib Dem Peer Baroness Judith Jolly and with involvement from key patient advocacy groups, national health and professional bodies, and other parliamentarians to understand how COVID-19 has impacted the implementation of SDM across NHS services. It calls for SDM to be embedded fully in the NHS, to ensure improved patient outcomes. General Manager of AbbVie, Todd Manning, says, “AbbVie is committed to working with key partners across the health and care system, with the aim of ensuring patients are involved in the decisions made about their care.

“SDM is widely agreed to be an important part of ensuring the right decision is made for the right patient, at the right time.  The COVID-19 pandemic has seen extraordinary pressures put on the NHS.  It has highlighted the importance of the need to identify and implement practices, such as SDM to help effectively manage long-term conditions and help achieve the best possible outcome for patients.

“Throughout our work in 2020 we called for policy reform with an aim to embed SDM across the NHS.  Through our 2021 Shared Decision Making policy report, AbbVie seeks to work in partnership to drive forward our recommendations for SDM within the NHS, so that a future where patients are empowered partners in decisions about their care and treatment is realised.” 

The Report, ‘Empowering Conversations: Making Shared Decision Making a reality for patients in an evolving NHS’, identifies three central pillars of opportunity for SDM:

  1. enabling empowered conversations through support for both healthcare professionals and patients;
  2. achieving buy-in through increased levels of support, visibility and understanding of SDM amongst senior leadership at Board level;
  3. utilising the opportunity to re-engineer pathways and processes during NHS Restart to embed SDM into treatment pathways.

Chief Executive of The Patient’s Association, Rachel Power said: “It’s a well-accepted principle that patients should have an active role in their care, and shared decision making is vital to achieving this. 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.”

Baroness Judith Jolly said: Shared decision making allows patients to feel in control of their health and allow them to make informed decisions about their care.  These detailed policy recommendations put our health and care system on the path for positive change to continue to empower patients and make shared decision making an essential element of the ‘new normal’.”

SDM is widely recognised by Patient Groups as a key practice that is required to ensure effective treatment plans are made. Director of the Patient Information Forum, Sophie Randall shared, “Decisions about treatment and care change people’s lives for better or worse. It is a fundamental right that people have access to health literate information and support to make decisions about treatment. It is vital that these principles of shared decision making and personalised care are embedded into the post pandemic NHS. Shared decision making and personalised care should be part of the solution to tackle health inequality, not entrench it.”

As part of a wider programme of work, AbbVie begun highlighting the importance of SDM in 2020, hosting a Shared Decision Making Showcase in Parliament last Spring that showcased sixteen best practice projects of SDM in the NHS.

For more information please visit AbbVie/SDM.

UK Media Contacts

Cheryl Pitcher

Head Corporate Communications

M: +44 7500 786466

E: cheryl.pitcher@abbvie.com

About AbbVie

We're a company that takes on the toughest health challenges. 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 four primary therapeutic areas: immunology, oncology, virology 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 www.abbvie.co.uk. Follow us on twitter: @abbvieuk.