A Call for Universal Pre-Printed Consent Forms
Dr E Bradburn, Mr A Gordon
Wexham Park Hospital, Frimley Health Foundation Trust, Slough, UK
The process of consenting patients prior to operations is one of the most important doctor-patient interactions. It is our duty to ensure patients are given a full explanation of the procedure and the risks allowing for informed decision making. Consent is only valid if they have been given sufficient information, in a format they can understand and then weigh up the pros and cons.
1. To establish if a thorough explanation of the procedure was given in line with RCOG guidance
2. To evaluate legibility of consent forms
3. Ensure doctors of adequate experience are consenting and compare accuracy between different grades
We analysed a random selection of fifty consent forms from a three-month period for hysteroscopy at a large district general hospital in the United Kingdom. Standards were derived from the RCOG; Diagnostic Hysteroscopy Under General Anaesthesia (Consent Advice No. 1). Data was then analysed for each standard as well as for legibility and overall level of compliance. Degree of accuracy for each level
The process of consent was variable. It is important to include all frequent or serious risks. When surveyed, doctors said that the main reason for this is time pressure. We therefore call for the introduction of national pre-printed consent forms to reduce the variation in consenting. We have developed pre-printed consent forms for all common operations. This would ensure patients are provided with legible, thorough explanations of the risks including an explanation of the rates of each complication.