Healthwatch advice on conversations with your Doctor

(Last Updated On: November 23, 2018)

Feel in control of your healthcare with these four questions and make a decision that’s right for you.

Healthwatch Torbay  know from our conversations with the public that some patients don’t feel involved in decisions made about their car and  that some patients report feeling rushed during appointments and struggle to make themselves heard.

Choosing Wisely is a global initiative aimed to help people have constructive conversations with their doctors and nurses, and choose the treatment that is right for them.

Take note of these four questions when visiting your doctor or nurse and make better decisions about your healthcare together.

  1. What are the Benefits?

Take the time to find out what the potential benefits to your health will be if you agree to the proposed medical procedure/treatment.

  1. What are the Risks?

There are risks to every medical procedure/treatment. Make sure that you are fully informed about the effects of this decision, both short term and long term. Take the time to think about the care after your treatment and how you will manage this.

  1. What are the Alternatives?

Is there a different option to your treatment that fits in better with your healthcare needs? Make sure that you know all of the options so that you are fully informed at the time of making a decision.

  1. What if I do Nothing?

Just because the treatment is available, it doesn’t mean that this is the right option for you.

Fully understand the impact on your health if you do nothing and get a better idea of the effect of time on your condition.

It might be that you don’t need to make a decision immediately and can take time to explore other options. It might be that you don’t need medical help at all and instead need advice and information on how to change your lifestyle.

Bob Jope Healthwatch Torbay

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Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!