Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice Essentials

Safe handover

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 09 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4328

Rapid Response:

Re: Safe handover

In response to Dr Fletcher's response to the original article on handover I feel it is very important to stress that there is wide variation in how individuals process and retain information. Asking questions during handover does not necessarily show poor listening. It may be vital for the comprehension of the receiver. It may interrupt the cognitive flow of the deliverer but arguably the receiver is the most important person in the communication as it is they who will be taking responsibility for the handover information and acting on it. There needs to be a way for the deliverer and receiver to be sure that all relevant information has been passed on and understood. There should be an appreciation of differences in communication styles and adaptations as necessary on both sides to ensure optimal patient care..

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 November 2017
Shirley A Moore
Retired from Medical Practice, Psychotherapy Student
Perth, Scotland