No decision about me, without me...

You, the patients, are at the heart of everything we do. At Oncology Clinics Victoria, we aim to achieve healthcare outcomes that are among the best in the world by involving you fully in your own care, with decisions made in partnership with clinicians, rather than by clinicians alone: “no decision about me, without me”.

Genuinely shared decision-making is about giving everyone more say in decisions about their own care. It’s about being sensitive to people’s preferences and aspirations for their care and treatment and it’s about having the right information to make informed decisions, supported by professionals.

We’ve been looking at how we can achieve this and at those areas where we can give patients and service users, their carers and families more say. Giving people more choice over their care and treatment all along their pathway is an important part of this. They should be able to share in decisions about their care.

Where possible, we will put patients first so that services fit around them and not the other way around. This will mean more flexible services, greater convenience and crucially better outcomes for all: equity and excellence.

At the heart of our model is the principle of shared decision-making, which underpins our proposals: “no decision about me, without me”. Shared decision-making involves a patient and their clinician(s) working together to clarify options and goals for their care, treatment and self-management, sharing information about those options and aiming to reach agreement on the best course of action. Shared decision-making is fundamental throughout the entire healthcare pathway irrespective of setting.

We are clear that patients, their carers and families should be involved in decisions about their care along the patient pathway and this applies equally to decisions about their treatment, management and support once a diagnosis has been made. All patients who wish to be involved in decisions and choices about their treatment and management of their condition should receive the relevant information and professional support to do so. 

The presumption should be that patients make choices within the set of options that are clinically appropriate and financially affordable. There may be times when providing a choice of treatment is not appropriate, possibly due to the specialised nature of a condition or where urgent treatment is needed, however it is expected that any decision is agreed with the patient and that they remain involved throughout the care pathway.

You have the right to be involved in discussions and decisions about your healthcare, and to be given information to enable you to do this.

You have the right to accept or refuse treatment that is offered to you, and not to be given any physical examination or treatment unless you have given valid consent. If you do not have the capacity to do so, consent must be obtained from a person legally able to act on your behalf, or the treatment must be in your best interests.