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Consent Forms

Consent Forms

Did you read your consent form?

All health care professionals need your consent to examine or treat you. This is usually done by normal means of conversation and with you agreeing with their suggestions. Health professionals are working in partnership with you, you are involved in the decision making of your treatment.

In some situations it is better to have a written consent form which means that you have been given all the relevant information for you to make an informed consent to a usually invasive procedure. (Invasive, meaning either an operation or procedure where you will be given either a general anaesthetic or sedation.) If you want to change you mind at any point you must say so, you are entitled to change your mind.

What should I know?

All the healthcare professionals treating you are involved in giving you the correct information and options available to you, to help you decide if you think the operation /procedure is the correct action to take.

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Ask questions and if the person you are talking to doesn’t know the answer ask them to find the person who does. If you think of questions you want to ask and feel you might forget to ask write them down and keep the note to hand.

Things to think about -  not all will apply:

  • What are the main treatment options?
  • What are the benefits of each of the options?
  • What are the risks, if any, of each option?
  • What are the success rates for different options –
  • Why do you think an operation /treatment/procedure is necessary?
  • What are the risks if I decide to do nothing?
  • What about alternative/complimentary therapies?
  • How can I expect to feel after the procedure?
  • When am I likely to be able to get back to work?
  • Ask questions about the results of the procedure:
  • Will I need long- term care?
  • How will my mobility be affected?
  • Will I still be able to operate machinery/drive?
  • Is my working career going to be affected?
  • Will it affect my personal/ sexual relationships?
  • Will I be able to take part in my normal leisure activities?
  • Do I have to change my diet?
  • Will the herbal remedies/vitamins I take affect my treatment?

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What they need to know

Make sure the healthcare workers treating you know if you have any allergies or have reacted badly to any medications that you have been given in the past

Can I find out more about giving consent?

The Department of Health have a leaflet - Consent - what you have a right to expect is a detailed guide on consent in versions for adults, children, parents, carers/ relatives and people with learning disabilities. Ask for one from your clinic or hospital, order one from the NHS Responseline (08701 555 455).

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This can be given from a variety of people doctors and nurses who are training to consultants who are extremely experienced. If junior staff are treating you; you can be assured their care is being supervised by more senior staff.

What about the Anaesthetic?

If you require an anaesthetic be it general or local/regional this will be explained to you before you have the procedure. If you are having a general anaesthetic an Anaesthetists will visit you prior to your operation to discuss your general health and assess if you are fit for an anaesthetic. Click here to read more about Anaesthetic

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Pre- assessment clinics

Many hospitals now are running pre-assessment clinics which are extremely beneficial for you as the patient, as you have the opportunity to ask questions you may have before you arrive for your operation. If there are problems which need to be rectified prior to surgery then these are done without you being cancelled on the day of your operation.

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Biopsies (section of tissue or fluid) and samples:

During procedures biopsies are often taken for the purpose of diagnosis/treatment, these can be:-

  • Tissue/skin
  • Lumps/lymph nodes
  • Blood /pus
  • Organs i.e. gall bladder
  • Teeth

You will always be told prior to surgery what is involved in the procedure. If these need further investigations for diagnosis or as part of your treatment they will be sent to the laboratory, afterwards disposed of according to the hospital's health and safety regulations.

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Sometimes the surgeons will take photographs or video of your operation or of your limb etc - X-rays are included in this. If photos are taken these will stay in your hospital notes and will remain confidential, you can often see them when you next see the surgeon and these will help them to explain what is going on with your treatment. These records are also used for teaching purposes and medical research but will not be used in anyway that you might be identified or recognised without your express permission.

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Children’s Consent:

The same applies to children your consent or agreement for treatment is required. In some circumstances a child is able to give consent themselves if they have a good level of understanding and are of an age where they have that level of maturity. However the majority if the time it will be the parent who gives the consent.


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