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NHS Western Isles has produced a short animation to remind patients that it is OK to ask if they are ever unsure about advice they are given about their health. 

The animation can be viewed at: 

With only 1 in 3 patients preparing questions to ask at their healthcare appointment, this can patients leave their consultation unclear on the importance and impact of taking a prescribed medication, or without a clear understanding of the options they have for shaping or managing their own healthcare.  

The new national ‘It’s OK to Ask’ campaign has been launched to encourage patients to be more involved in their healthcare, so they can make better decisions around their care and treatment.  

Dr. Frank McAuley, NHS Western Isles Medical Director, who provides the voiceover to the animation, said, “We want to encourage everyone, patients and their carers, to be more involved when it comes to their own healthcare.    

“We understand that patients can feel nervous just before or during their healthcare appointment, but it’s important to think about questions you want to ask, either by remembering them or writing them down to have at hand.”

There are four simple but important questions that patients and carers should ask of their healthcare provider, when being offered treatment or before they leave their appointment.  These are:  

  • What are the benefits of my treatment?  
  • What are the risks of my treatment?  
  • Are there other treatments I can try?   
  • What if I do nothing?  

In addition, patients may benefit from using 'My Patient Journal' at their healthcare appointments.  Produced by NHS Western Isles, this personal guide offers the opportunity to record information received, to better understand and process, after having left a healthcare appointment.  

Developed in conjunction with patients and carers, and aimed for use at each healthcare appointment, the guide features handy sections for the patient to record their personal details, medical details, prescriptions and medications being taken, future appointment schedules, as well as space to record the information received at each appointment. 

View or download My Patient Journal at: