Julie Sutton, Director of Operations, CHS Healthcare
On Friday 24th June, we held the fifth installation of our Continuing Healthcare (CHC) webinar series; ‘Shining a light on consent in NHS Continuing Healthcare’. I had the pleasure of hosting the webinar, and was delighted to be joined by Yvonne Le Brun, National Continuing Healthcare Consultant at Waite Atkins Ltd, Ben Troke, Partner at Hill Dickinson; Mediator; and Author at Law Brief Publishing and Joanna Crichton, Legal Director at Hill Dickinson.
During the course of the webinar, the speakers answered questions around Continuing Healthcare (CHC) Consent, including:
- When is Consent required for CHC?
- What further knowledge and support is needed to navigate consent in CHC?
- Has the newly published guidelines and updated framework provided clarity regarding Consent requirements for CHC?
We also heard from speakers about the statutory responsibilities of stakeholders, as well as their views around CHC Consent in general.
You can watch the full webinar here ’Shining a light on consent in NHS continuing healthcare’ and following are my key takeaways from the discussion:
The law around consent as applied to CHC hasn’t changed – nothing in the updated national framework for CHC changes the substantial guidance around Consent. The only aspect of Consent that has changed is how it is referred to. Rather than Consent in CHC being referred to as a singular decision-making element, there are now three elements to consider:
- Participation in the CHC process
- Physical examination for purposes of CHC eligibility assessment
- Sharing of information
Patient information should only be shared with third parties if it is in the best interest of the patient – this is unless the patient does not have capacity to make that decision and, in this instance, information will need to be shared with the patient’s Lasting Power of Attorney’s (LPA).
The new guidelines and updated framework focus on a personalised approach to CHC – there is a clear focus on putting the patient first and helping them to make a decision that is in their best interest.
Patient understanding around CHC Consent is vital – this helps to avoid confusion, future issues and will help patients understand the relationship between Consent and the care they are able to receive.
Collaboration between health and care professionals throughout all stages is vital – this helps to ensure that front-line staff feel confident and well-equipped to have conversations about Consent, that local-authorities and communities are aware of the Consent processes, that Consent checklists are always submitted (even if negative), and that patients receive the care they are eligible for.
There are three elements of Consent that must always be considered:
- Consent must always be voluntary
- The patient must have the capacity to make the decision – otherwise their LPA
- The patient (or LPA) must always be well informed for them to be able to make a decision that is right for them
As Ben said, “Consent is all about respecting an individual’s autonomy… It is important that the law is seen not as a stick to beat you with, but as a shield to protect you and that decision making.”
To learn more about how CHS Healthcare and support your teams in understanding Consent and delivery of Continuing Healthcare contact William.email@example.com