|Communicating Significant News|
|Written by Rev Judith Allford|
Communicating significant or bad news is one of the hardest tasks health care professionals have to do. It is a skill that can be learned and used in busy clinical practice. However, patients and carers frequently report that the communication skills of health and social care professionals are poor. Many professionals feel their training has not equipped them to deal effectively with this and other communication challenges that arise in the course of their work. Others have drifted into ways of communicating that are self-protective and not always helpful for patients and relatives.
The aim of this document is to provide some practical guidance for professionals at all levels communicating with patients and their relatives within ASPH. Guidelines are not rigid constraints upon decision making and leave room for health care professionals to use clinical judgment on an individual case basis. Breaking Bad News (BBN) has perhaps the highest profile in terms of significant conversations with patients and relatives and there are many well described guidelines for this specific area. The NICE guidance published in 2004 for improving supportive care for adults with cancer specifies that all staff should be trained to deal effectively with difficult and searching questions, and talks of significant and 'key' conversations in addition to breaking bad news or the giving of significant information. NICE suggest that trusts formalise guidance and policies in this area.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 March 2010 11:15|