The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (AORMC) has published guidance on writing letters to patients: Please, write to me—writing outpatient clinic letters to patients. Clear written communication addressed to the patient helps them to understand their care. The guidance makes recommendations about:
- use of the first and second person
- avoiding medical jargon or phrases, e.g. using ‘kidney’ instead of ‘renal’
- using non-stigmatising language, e.g. saying that a patient ‘has diabetes’, rather than ‘is diabetic’.
Kamila Hawthorne, Vice‑chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said that she was sometimes asked ‘to “translate” the letter [patients] have received from the hospital’ and that clear written communication should ‘make the process more patient‑centred … which will be beneficial for everyone’.