Information For Patients

The provision of information is central to the consent process. Before patients can come to a decision about treatment, they need comprehensible information about their condition and about possible treatments/investigations and their risks and benefits (including the risks/benefits of doing nothing). They also need to know whether additional procedures are likely to be necessary as part of the procedure, for example a blood transfusion, or the removal of particular tissue. Once a decision to have a particular treatment/investigation has been made, patients need information about what will happen: where to go, how long they will be in hospital, how they will feel afterwards and so on.

Patients and those close to them will vary in how much information they want: from those who want as much detail as possible, including details of rare risks, to those who ask health professionals to make decisions for them. There will always be an element of clinical judgment in determining what information should be given. However, the presumption must be that the patient wishes to be well informed about the risks and benefits of the various options. Where the patient makes clear (verbally or non-verbally) that they do not wish to be given this level of information this should be documented.

The following information is available for patients.

Consent – what you have a right to expect – A guide for Relatives or Carers

This is an advice leaflet for Relatives or Carers can help when a person they care for is being asked to give consent for any treatment or procedure. It also contains advice on who is best able to give consent if the person needing the treatment or procedure is unable to make that decision.

Last updated: March 1, 2016