A new website dedicated to practising Realistic Medicine has been launched this week. Realistic medicine refers to putting the person receiving health and social care at the centre of decisions about their care and creates a personalised approach. It encourages health and care workers to find out what matters most to their patients and clients so that the care of their condition fits their needs and situation. Realistic medicine recognises that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to health and social care is not the most effective approach for the patient or for the NHS.
Its important to older people because it encourages services to adapt to the way in which people with multiple, complex and frequently changing conditions require to access care and support. Those people are primarily over 65. Current models of healthcare services are stretched and there is need to re-examine how we can deliver person-centred and integrated healthcare that embraces both statutory and non-statutory agencies. Cath Calderwood, the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland has said, realistic medicine involves
- Listening to understand patients problems and preferences;
- Shared decision making between healthcare professionals and their patients;
- Ensuring that patients have all the understandable information they need to make an informed choice;
- Moving away from the ‘doctor knows best’ culture to ensure a more equal partnership with people;
- Supporting healthcare professionals to be innovative, to pursue continuous quality improvement and to manage risk better;
- Reducing the harm and waste caused by both over-provision and under-provision of care;
- Identifying and reducing unwarranted variation in clinical practices
The new website which you can access HERE, features resources, good practice case studies and the contact details of Realistic Medicine Leads within the NHS Scotland Boards.