The purpose of this protocol is to set out the practice’s approach to consent and the way in which the principles of consent will be put into practice. Where possible, a clinician must be satisfied that a patient understands and consents to a proposed treatment, immunisations or investigation.
Implied consent will be assumed for many routine physical contacts with patients. Where implied consent is to be assumed by the clinician, in all cases, the following will apply: an explanation will be given to the patient about what he/she is about to do and why. In all cases where the patient is under 18 years of age, a verbal confirmation of consent will be obtained and briefly entered into the medical record. Where there is a significant risk to the patient an ‘Expressed Consent’ will be obtained in all cases (see below).
Expressed consent (written or verbal) will be obtained for any procedure that carries a risk that the patient is likely to consider a substantial risk. A note will be made in the medical record detailing the discussion about the consent and the risks. A consent form may be used for the patient to express consent (see below).
Consent (implied or expressed) will be obtained prior to the procedure. The clinician will ensure that the patient is competent to provide a consent (16 years or over) or has ‘Gillick Competence’ if under 16 years (has ‘sufficient understanding and maturity to enable them to understand fully what is proposed’). For children under 16 years, someone with parental responsibility should give consent on the child’s behalf by signing accordingly on the consent form.