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 Adults
This leaflet answers questions that adults may have on their rights and what they are expected of them. This leaflet can be offered as information.
- Consent – what you have a right to expect – A guide for Children and Young People
This leaflet answers questions that a child or a young person may have. It covers topics on how consent is asked for and how it is given and advises on what they should know before giving consent. This leaflet can be offered as information.
- Consent – what you have a right to expect – A guide for People with Learning Disabilities
This is a general advice leaflet on Consent for people with Learning Disabilities
- Consent – what you have a right to expect – A guide for Parents
This is an advice leaflet for parents being asked to give consent for any treatment or procedure to be given to their child.
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.
- About the Consent Form – Advice for Patients
This is guidance and advice for patients who are being asked to fill in a Consent form.