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Chrissie Maher award 2018

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges – ‘Please write to me’

The Academy’s ‘Please write to me’ initiative demanded much better communication between doctors and their patients. The initiative sets out a number of improvements, with clearer language and a more friendly approach considered top priorities. As long-time advocates for clearer medical information we’re delighted to award our most prestigious accolade to the Academy.

From the ‘Please write to me’ guide:

Use plain English when possible, for example, ‘kidney’ instead of renal. In the body of the letter you can explain jargon, such as with ‘You have an irregular pulse. This is called atrial fibrillation.’ This is easier to read than with brackets, such as with ‘You have an irregular pulse (atrial fibrillation).’

Avoid writing medical phrases such as ‘Your presenting complaint was…’ and instead use a plain English alternative, such as ‘You went to your GP because…’ Similarly, ‘On examination, there was swelling of your ankles’ is more simply stated as ‘Your ankles were swollen’.

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