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CCGs tell patients to question their GPs

A CCG has created a ‘cue card’ with five questions that patients should ask their GPs in consultations, including whether they may have been misdiagnosed.

NHS West Leicestershire CCG has said patients should ask whether their diagnosis could be something else, what the treatment options are and what are the pros and cons of the treatment options.

It titled the postcard-sized cue cards ‘MAGIC’, which stands for ‘Making All Good (decisions) In Collaboration’, encouraging patients to ask more questions of GPs, consultants and other healthcare professionals.

The CCG said that the aim of the cue cards, which will be available in all 50 GP practices in the area as well as being handed out by Healthwatch, is for patients to have the information they need to ‘take more control over the choices involved in their healthcare’, with the cards to ‘help start the conversation’.

The five questions on the MAGIC cards are:

  1. What is my diagnosis – could it be something else?
  2. What are my treatment options?
  3. What are the pros and cons of my treatment options – do you have the facts and figures to help me decide?
  4. What can I do to help myself and manage my condition?
  5. I would like to talk about my prognosis – what can I expect and what is likely to happen in the future?

Professor Mayur Lakhani, chair of NHS West Leicestershire CCG and a former chair of the RCGP, said: ‘We need to show that the principle of “no decision about me without me” can be part of everyday healthcare. These simple MAGIC cards are a reminder to patients – and to GPs, consultants and other health professionals – that decisions about healthcare need to be made together.

‘A diagnosis can sometimes be a difficult time for patients and their families, who may be concerned about the future and feel confused. They will be able to cope better if they have more information and know the right questions to ask.’

The Government’s ‘no decision about me without me’ policy, rolled out in 2012, means patients referred by their GP should be allowed to choose the provider of their treatment.