Decision making and consent

Shared decision making and consent are fundamental to good medical practice.

This guidance explains that the exchange of information between doctor and patient is essential to good decision making. Serious harm can result if patients are not listened to, or if they are not given the information they need - and time and support to understand it - so they can make informed decisions about their care.

This guidance will support you in your conversations with your patients; and help you to be confident you’re sharing the information they need to make decisions that are right for them. By following it, it will help you make sure that you have informed consent from your patient.

It has advice on:

  • What you should tell a patient when talking about risks.
  • What to do if your patient doesn't want to hear information you think is relevant.
  • What to do if your patient may lack capacity to make a decision
  • What you should record.

This guidance came into effect on 9 November 2020.