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General Medical Counsel Consultation on updated guidance on consent

The General Medical Council is consulting on revised guidance on decision making and consent.

The draft guidance, which will replace the guidance that came into effect in June 2008, focuses on the importance of communication, personalised conversations and doctors and patients making decisions about treatment and care together. The GMC hopes the draft guidance is clearer, which will make it easier to apply.

The draft guidance includes advice on:

  • Delegation of responsibility for taking consent
  • Steps to be taken to support decision making
  • Sharing information
  • Patients who lack capacity
  • Maximising a patient’s ability to make a decision
  • Assessing and explaining benefits and risks
  • Answering questions and dealing with uncertainty
  • Expressing consent and when written consent is required
  • Recording discussions
  • Resolving disagreements
  • Scope of treatment in emergencies

It also includes advice and steps to follow when making decisions in different scenarios.

The GMC is asking for input on the draft policy and has published a full questionnaire for medical and lay professionals, a survey for doctors and other healthcare professionals and a survey for patients, carers and members of the public.

The link to the draft guidance document and consultation can be found by clicking here.

If you required further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

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