About Medical Consent
At Medical Consent we focus on just one thing. Creating patient-friendly software supported by high quality patient information videos (Patient Decision Aids) to achieve legally compliant informed consent.
Here in the UK, the process of achieving patient consent for medical interventions isn’t always completed as well as it could be. Before a patient signs their consent form, which acknowledges their understanding of any risks associated with their procedure, they need to feel confident about their decision. Currently, the process of consent is, in many cases, outdated and no longer fit for purpose. It can leave patients feeling confused, uncertain about what is involved in their procedure and the risks they face, and potentially with important questions unanswered. This can leave the Medical Team vulnerable to litigation.
Patient information and consenting patients – what’s changed?
In 2015, the UK’s Supreme Court stipulated that, before consenting to a medical procedure, healthcare professionals must give the patient all the information they need to be able to make the right decision about their treatment.
As part of this, it’s essential to explain all the treatment options, including the option of receiving no treatment, and the associated risks. This includes ‘material risks’ for each treatment option that must be personalised for every patient. This means doctors must have an understanding of a person’s work and lifestyle.
The test of materiality has become twofold:
Consent should be written and recorded. Once the patient has made their decision, consent should be acknowledged at the end of the discussion by both the doctor and the patient. This provides part of the evidence that a discussion has taken place, although in itself it provides no meaningful information about the quality of the discussion. In addition to the consent form, a record of the meeting (including the key points, hard copies or web links to any further information provided to the patient, and the patient’s decision) should be included in the patient’s case notes. This is essential, even if they choose not to have any treatment.
In making informed consent a legal obligation, the Supreme Court overturned all the Lower Court judgments. Nadim Montgomery’s case failed in all the Lower Courts due to the existing case law in Sidaway and Bolam, the test at that time being a medical judgment that the doctor’s conduct would be supported by a responsible body of medical opinion.
So what does this mean for healthcare professionals today?
In short, it means they have a legal duty to provide informed consent to all patients, including full disclosure of the risks, and to keep a complete record of this. And they have no defence to do less than this by application of the Bolam test.
At Medical Consent, we understand that the legal implications may feel a bit overwhelming when you just want to get on with your job. And we know the process can be improved and benefit clinicians and their patients.
That’s why we’ve come up with an online pathway to help you and your patients navigate the whole consent process. It gives patients the information they need, step-by-step, so that they can feel confident about their decisions. And you can focus on continuing to do your best for your patients, without the threat of litigation at a later stage because due process was not followed.
Informed consent – the problems
Informed consent – the solution
At Medical Consent, our solution is built around:
Meet the team
Professor Adrian Wilson
Adrian is our clinical director and is a world-renowned orthopaedic surgeon and medical entrepreneur. He is one of the founders of the business.