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Patient Consent

Patient Consent to examination or treatment
It is a general legal and ethical principle that valid consent must be obtained before starting treatment or physical investigation, or providing personal care, for a patient.
This principle reflects the right of patients to determine what happens to their own bodies, and is a fundamental part of good practice. A health professional who does not respect this principle may be liable both to legal action by the patient and action by their professional body. Employing bodies may also be liable for the actions of their staff. Case law (“common law”) has established that touching a patient without valid consent may constitute the civil or criminal offence of battery. Furthermore, if health professionals fail to obtain proper and informed consent and the patient subsequently suffers harm as a result of treatment, this may be a factor in a claim of negligence against the health professional involved. 

New forms: Patient Consent to Examination and Treatment

Please find attached revised consent forms developed through collaborative working across NHS Wales and approved by Medical Directors. They update three of the 2008 model forms (form 3 has been dis-continued) issued by Welsh Government to help clinicians obtain properly informed consent from patients undergoing examination or treatment.

The forms are intended to be easier for health professionals to use, incorporate the Welsh language and provide greater assuranc for clinical governance leads that their organisation is meeting the required standards

The three consent forms are: 
  • Consent Form 1 (for people aged 16 years and over with mental capacity and people under 16 years of age who are Gillick competent):
  • Consent Form 2 (Agreement of person with parental responsibility to examination or treatment for a child under 16 years of age who is not Gillick competent):
  • The next form (Form 4) is used for treatment in best interests for patients aged 16 years and over who lack the capacity to consent to examination or treatment. 

English and Welsh language versions of the forms are accessible below.  

Children and young people’s right to consent in health settings

On 22 April 2013, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Welsh Government published a new guide to raise awareness about children and young people’s consent in health settings.  It includes practical guidance on what young people should expect from health professionals, including nurses, doctors and dentists, and outlines their right to be involved in decisions about their health, health care or treatment – a right afforded to them under Article 13 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).  A copy of the guide (in Welsh and English) and accompanying Press Release can be found below.

Last updated: 16/04/2014