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Making your mind up

The General Medical Council (GMC) has launched new guidelines urging doctors to rethink their approach to discussing medical issues with their patients.

Titled 'Consent: Patients and doctors making decisions together', the guidelines  replace 'Seeking patient's consent: the ethical considerations'. It advises doctors to actively engage patients in discussions and allow them to make decisions based on their individual needs and circumstances.

The guidelines will particularly affect those who cannot make decisions for themselves or where their ability is impaired or fluctuating.

“Diabetes UK welcomes the GMC’s guidance and hopes it will help healthcare professionals work in partnership with people with diabetes to support self-management." said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

Making the most of appointments

“Diabetes management is 95 per cent self-care, so many people with diabetes only see their doctor once a year. It is vital that people get the most from their appointments and partnership working through care planning is a means to doing this. Healthcare professionals must involve people with diabetes as much as possible by encouraging and supporting them to ask questions and get input for their care plans.

“People with diabetes who have a good knowledge of their treatment options are better equipped to make informed decisions about medication and other ways of managing their diabetes.”

The guidance will come into effect from 2 June 2008.

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