Questions to ask health professionals
To get the most from a consultation with a GP, neurologist, MS nurse or other health professional, it helps to go prepared with questions to ask and an idea of the sort of information you'd like to know. It might not be possible for them to provide answers for all questions, but by being prepared you will be able to cover the topics you want to discuss.
There are a number of resources to help you consider the sort of questions you may want to ask.
NHS Right Care Shared Decision Making
This programme encourages people to get more involved in understanding their care and treatment. It has indetified three basic questions to ask about health care:
- What are my options?
- What are the pros and cons of each option for me?
- How do I get the support to help me make a decision that is right for me?
Download a poster of the three questions (pdf 2.1Mb)
Tips for living with MS - medical matters
This section from the Tips book contains ideas from people with MS on ways to get the most from health services. It also includes tips on managing some of the symptoms of MS.
Questions to ask before you leave your appointment (pdf - 0.3Mb)
A leaflet developed by the NHS to help people get the most from their appointments
Ask About Medicines questions
Ask About Medicines was a campaigning organisation that aims to encourage better communication between the users of medications and their healthcare professionals and pharmacists. If people ask questions about medicines they are more likely to use them safely and effectively and make better informed choices about taking medicines.
To this end, Ask About Medicines developed six basic questions:
- What does this medicine do?
- Why is it important that I take this medicine? Are there any other treatment options?
- When and how should I take it?
- How long should I take it for?
- What should I be aware of when taking this medicine? (eg. possible risks, side effects, taking medicines with certain foods/drinks/activities, what to do if I don't feel well while I am taking it, how to store it safely etc)
- Where can I go for more information?
What you need to know about my condition (pdf - 0.1Mb)
The Neurological Alliance, of which the MS Trust is a member, has developed a form to allow people with a neurological condition to share important information about how their condition affects them with those offering them care. When you have completed the leaflet, you may wish to talk through its contents with any professionals involved in your care. You could ask for a copy of this leaflet to be stored with any notes held by a GP, social worker, or other professional.