Recommendation
48.

Offer the patient copies of letters between healthcare professionals. These should be in a form that is accessible to the patient and if possible use language that they will understand. Answer any questions the patient may have about these.

Relative values of different outcomesThe GDG considered that access to information about them was a patient’s right and was included in the NHS plan. It is also included as a pledge in the NHS constitution. Copying of letters improves both communication and information
Trade off between clinical benefits and harmsThe GDG considered that the benefits outweighed any harms and that good practice guidelines were developed by the department of health to consider areas such as harm to the patient, third party information and mental capacity. http://www​.dh.gov.uk​/en/Publicationsandstatistics​/Publications​/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance​/DH_4007561
Economic considerationsThe GDG considered that while this may require greater resource use than if this is not done it is an essential part of good patient care as evidenced by being part of the NHS plan and constitution.
Quality of evidenceNo specific evidence was reviewed for this recommendation but the GDG considered it important to include a recommendation to support patient’s rights under the NHS constitution.
Other considerations

From: 10, Enabling patients to actively participate in their care

Cover of Patient Experience in Adult NHS Services: Improving the Experience of Care for People Using Adult NHS Services
Patient Experience in Adult NHS Services: Improving the Experience of Care for People Using Adult NHS Services: Patient Experience in Generic Terms.
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 138.
National Clinical Guideline Centre (UK).
Copyright © 2012, National Clinical Guideline Centre.

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