Decision making and consent

Reviewing decisions


Unless treatment or care begins immediately after a patient has given consent, there will be opportunity for a decision to be reviewed.


You should review a patient’s decision immediately before providing treatment or care and, if treatment is ongoing, make sure there are clear arrangements in place to review decisions regularly, allowing patients opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns. You should also consider regularly reviewing a decision to take no action.


Reviewing a decision is particularly important:

  1. if you haven’t personally had a discussion with the patient because they were initially seen by a colleague
  2. if significant time has passed since the decision was made
  3. if the patient’s condition has changed
  4. if you have reason to believe the patient might have changed their mind
  5. if any aspect of the chosen treatment or care has changed
  6. if new information has become available about the potential benefits or risks of harm of any of the options that might make the patient choose differently.

You must make sure that patients are kept informed about the progress of their treatment, and you should let patients know that they can change their mind at any time.