For anyone who is about to undergo an invasive medical procedure such as an operation, it is normal for them to have given the appropriate consent to that treatment. Prior to the treatment, you must be fully informed of the procedure and be advised of the potential risks involved.
Before treatment, the following information should have been shared with you:
After receiving the above information, you must give your consent to the procedure, known as ‘informed consent’. This means that you know of the risks involved and have decided to take those risks. The risks and the need for informed consent will normally be explained verbally to you and backed up by a printed and signed consent form. Upon signing this documentation, you are confirming your consent to the taking of these risks.
Consent negligence claims may arise when informed consent is not given. If you agree to a hospital procedure without being told about the potential risks, you are not truly giving consent and this could give rise to a claim for compensation. To succeed in a consent claim against a hospital or NHS Trust, you must show that informed consent was not given.
The consent form should set out the primary risks associated with the procedure and confirm you have understood the risks you are taking. It is the duty of the practitioner to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved and also aware of any reasonable alternative or variant treatment.
An error that should not have been made despite a signed consent form still affords you to make a claim for compensation on the grounds of medical negligence, as the operation should still be completed at the correct standard and with the correct level of expertise.