Key roles and responsibilities

A core team, supported by senior backing and clinical leadership, is key to implementing shared decision making across multiple teams.

If you are planning to implement shared decision making across multiple teams within an organisation, there are a number of key roles that will help you.

These roles are likely to include:

  • Executive sponsor: to ensure communication and links with the corporate strategy of the organisation and to 'unblock' difficulties, when and if these arise
  • Clinical lead/champion: Recruit clinicians who are passionate about and skilled in shared decision making as 'champions' to help raise awareness and engage their peers and wider staff group.
  • Management lead/champion: Managers can advise on how implementing shared decision making fits with organisational processes and they can help facilitate progress. They are familiar with translating organisational aims to practical action with front-line staff and can be key in communicating progress to executive leaders.
  • Other champions: Consider whether there key staff with roles in quality improvement/patient engagement/education and training that could become champions for shared decision making.
  • Project manager: to take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the programme.
  • Core team: who are committed to designing the programme, overseeing its implementation and supporting it through until it is permanently embedded in the care pathway.Make sure your core team works effectively together, that you have terms of reference and an advanced schedule of meetings assisted by a project plan.
  • Facilitators: these are people who can support clinical teams implementing shared decision making – key facilitators are the directorate manager/practice manager and clinical director/senior partner
  • External experts or and/or key stakeholders: for example the funders of your programme or external people with recognised expertise in the area of shared decision making
  • Additional people linked to key stakeholder groups: for example commissioners or patient groups.
  • Where you are paying for backfill or providing cover for people to be released from their existing role in order to dedicate time for your programme it is worth being specific about their contribution, both in terms of their time and what they will be doing.

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