Information for healthcare professionals and the general public on matters relating to consent. Please note that this guidance is currently under review.

Good practice in consent

It is a general legal and ethical principle that valid consent must be obtained before commencing an examination, starting treatment or physical investigation, or providing personal care.

This principle reflects the right of individuals to determine what happens to their own bodies, and is a fundamental part of good practice. A health or social care professional who does not respect this principle may be liable both to legal action by the person and action by their regulatory body.

Employing bodies may also be liable for the actions of their staff.

The following links will provide information and access to forms regarding consent in health and social care:

While this guidance is being updated Professionals should consult their relevant professional bodies for the most up to date advice .  Patients may wish to refer to the following information on consent in England and Scotland:

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