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Providing support to engage others in the decision making process

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

For this assessment criterion, you will be required to critically evaluate situations in which others may need to be engaged in decision making. Others may refer to team members, service users, their families and/or advocates and other professionals. Some areas for consideration are included below:

Team meetings

Team meetings can provide all team members with the opportunity to be involved in decision-making processes. This supports team members to have a personal stake in any decisions that are made and improves morale and job satisfaction by ensuring that everybody’s views are valued and respected. As a leader, you will encourage the participation of all team members to promote an open, positive and inclusive workplace culture.

Staff supervision and appraisals

As well as promoting inclusivity in a team meeting setting, you will also encourage participation during one-on-one sessions with team members, which will include supervision and appraisal. During these meetings, the focus will on decisions that relate to the individual team member, particularly those related to their own personal development and career progression.

Care assessment and reviews

All service users should be encouraged to participate in their own care planning and share any decisions made about their care. Shared decision making (SDM) combines the clinical expertise of healthcare professionals and an individual’s personal knowledge about their own wishes and preferences.

There is evidence to suggest that the use of SDM ‘increased knowledge, informed choice, participation in decision-making, decision self-efficacy, preference for collaborative decision making and reduced decisional conflict among disadvantaged patients‘ and ‘significantly improve outcomes‘ (Durand et al).

In 2019, the NHS published a summary guide explaining what SDM should look like – this is well worth a read.

Partnership working

Partnership working involves working with a wide range of groups and individuals (including the service user themselves and their relatives) to plan and achieve the best possible outcomes for service users. Groups and individuals can include the care staff within your organisation and external carers as well as healthcare professionals, such as GPs, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, advocates, social workers, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists etc.

Carer/advocate/family meetings

All stakeholders that have expertise in a related area of a service user’s healthcare should be encouraged to contribute to an individual’s care planning and delivery – remember, expertise does not just mean clinical or professional expertise but can also mean expertise in the service user themselves, including the service user, their family and their advocate.

Lessons learnt from providing support and encouragement to others

Providing support and encouragement to others to engage in decision-making processes has several advantages, including:

  • It empowers service users to take control and ownership of their care and support
  • It develops staff and helps them to become more competent and confidence in their own decision-making
  • It reduces your own workload by enabling you to delegate some decisions to others
  • It can help the implementation of decisions to run more smoothly

From my own experience, I discovered that a great way to help team members develop their decision-making skills is to ask them what they think they should do whenever they approached me with a question. This was in contrast to my previous way of working, which was to simply give them the answer. By doing this, team members are forced to think for themselves rather than passively being directed in what to do. Around 80% of the time, they knew the correct answer themselves anyway but were not confident enough in themselves to follow it through. And when they didn’t know the answer, I would explain it to them. Over time, team members became more confident and competent in their ability to make decisions and the number of calls I received decreased.