Consent and Decision Making
Consent’ is a patient’s agreement for a health professional to provide care. You may consent verbally or non-verbally (for example by presenting your arm to have your pulse or blood pressure taken or in writing).
Further information on consent and what you have the right to expect is available on the Department of Health website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care
You have a right to withdraw from treatment at any time, even after you have signed a form. It is your decision. Please ask as many questions as you like if you have any concerns.
Where someone maybe unable to consent or make a decision about their treatment then an assessment of their ability to make decisions will be undertaken by the relevant health care professional – this is called a mental capacity assessment.
Where the assessment shows that a person is unable to make the decision being asked of them and consent then a best interest decision is made by the relevant health care professional. In making their decision the health care professional must consult with and take account of your past and present wishes and feelings and consider all of the circumstances in relation to the decision to be made. Consultation will be with your family and friends or whoever you have nominated as a person who you would like your medical or health condition discussed with.
Some patients will have in place a lasting power of attorney for health and welfare or an advanced decision to refuse treatment. If this is the case please ensure that you inform your healthcare professional who will ensure that this information is available to other staff involved in your care.
If you, or your relative or friends have stated that you have a lasting power of attorney you will be asked to produce a full copy to ensure that staff fully understand and comply with any information that you may have recorded within the document. For more information on Lasting Power of Attorney please follow this link https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney .
Issues of consent and the capacity to make decisions are managed within the framework of the Mental Capacity Act which provides additnal protections for people unable to make informed decisions for themselves about their care and treatment whilst in hospital – these are called the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.