Background. Information on anaesthesia interventions, plans and risks is needed by patients and carers alike and is a key component of the Good Practice In Consent initiative. Existing information materials may under-represent what patients are able to contribute. Method. UK anaesthetic departments were surveyed on provision of written patient information. The response rate was 66% (177/267). Results. Fifty-five per cent of respondents reported providing patient information materials for, planned surgical admission, mainly on general anaesthesia, regional analgesia and pain. A minority provided information for children and for critical care patients. Few (32%) had sought feedback from patients, and few used existing sources of guidance. Most (85%) wanted improvements, with a four-to-one majority favouring central resources developed by The Royal College of Anaesthetists. Conclusions. Working in parallel does not give our hospitals excellent, effective patient information materials. Demand exists for The Royal College of Anaesthetists to lead in this area. Working in partnership with patients and taking into account existing written guidance is important but has often been overlooked.
- Anaesthesia, patient information