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NHS patients in Highlands told: ‘It’s OK to Ask’

By John Davidson

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Patients are being encouraged to ask questions about their treatment as part of a campaign being promoted by NHS Scotland.

The health authority wants people to feel comfortable asking healthcare professionals about their care.

Promoting the It’s OK to Ask campaign, NHS Scotland said it aims to “empower patients to take an active role in their healthcare journey”.

It provides guidance to on how to ask questions about treatment options which then allows patients to be more involved and informed on the choices available.

The campaign centres around four key questions that patients should consider asking during a consultation or conversation about their health and care:

What are the benefits of my treatment?

What are the risks of my treatment?

Any alternative treatments I can try?

What if I do nothing?

NHS 24 staff headshots. NHS 24 - Dr John McAnaw - Head of Pharmacy and Associate Clinical Director
NHS 24 staff headshots. NHS 24 - Dr John McAnaw - Head of Pharmacy and Associate Clinical Director

Dr John McAnaw, associate clinical director and head of pharmacy at NHS 24, explains how the campaign provides guidance for patients on how to communicate effectively with their healthcare team.

“Asking questions about your treatment options while in a healthcare setting can be overwhelming, intimidating, or even scary for some people to do.

“The It's OK to Ask campaign emphasises the importance of asking questions to make sure you fully understand what is going on with your care, and to make sure you are happy with your treatment plan.

“Our colleagues throughout the NHS are open to being asked questions such as these, and they encourage you to ask them when having a chat about your treatment options.

“If you are at all unsure about any aspect of your treatment, remember ‘It’s OK to Ask’ to help you make an informed choice about what will work best for you.”

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