Consent plays a vital role in every aspect of medicine and surgery, facilitating the patient in making informed decisions about their treatment. The recently published Reference Guide to Consent, by the Department of Health (DH), notes that, although not a legal requirement, the completion of consent forms is good practice, particularly in interventions such as surgery. In addition, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman noted that a significant number of complaints about consent involved the complainant feeling that they did not fully understand what was going to happen. It was often found that there was no documentation to clarify what the patient was told, when and by whom.
We have performed an audit of 71 randomly selected consent forms, elective and trauma cases within our district general hospital orthopaedics department. Our data demonstrate that a significant number of consent forms were incorrectly or insufficiently completed. This could not only leave the patient confused about their procedure but also leaves the doctor open to litigation, with little in the way of documentation support. Minor changes in consenting methods and more precise documentation could significantly improve patient experience and satisfaction.
- Informed consent
- quality of healthcare
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Use of abbreviations by healthcare professionals: what is the way forward?
- Ambiguous abbreviations: an audit of abbreviations in paediatric note keeping
- Completion of consent forms in colorectal surgery: are we getting it right?
- ExPeKT—Exploring prevention and knowledge of venous thromboembolism: a two-stage, mixed-method study protocol
- Guideline for obtaining valid consent for gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures
- Use of medical abbreviations and acronyms: knowledge among medical students and postgraduates
- Improving documentation of prescriptions for as-required medications in hospital inpatients
- Is consent for hip fracture surgery for older people adequate? The case for pre-printed consent forms
- Surgical consent: the world's largest Chinese Whisper? A review of current surgical consent practices
- Consent in the endoscopy department