Consent to Treatment

  • Your physiotherapist will explain any proposed treatment to you in a way that you can understand 
  • Your physiotherapist will involve you in all decisions about your care or treatment 
  • You have the right to consent or decline treatment

What is Consent?

Consent is the voluntary agreement given by a person to allow something to happen to them, and/or to be done to them, and/or to allow their participation in something.  It is a fundamental right that every adult with capacity, has the absolute right to determine what happens to their own body. This right is protected in law and is reflected in the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) Code of Conduct.  Consent is a continuous process, for the purpose for which it was given at the time and it can be withdrawn at any time.  Consent is essential for any assessment and/or intervention that involves touching a patient, asking them to remove items of clothing, or using an instrument or modality that involves breaking the skin.  In physiotherapy for example this can be AcupunctureGrade V Manipulations or Injection Therapy.  Consent to Treatment means you have been told and understand the nature of your treatment, its purpose and agreed to this.

At Your Appointment your physiotherapist will explain all the risks, benefits and alternatives for treatment; so that you can make your own decision about the proposed treatment. This also includes the option to decline or choose no treatment. 

You can expect your Physiotherapist to explain: 

  • The type and extent of treatment proposed 
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the treatment 
  • Any significant risks and side-effects 
  • Your right to change your mind and withdraw consent at any time 

What is ‘Informed’ Consent’?

Informed Consent means that you, the patient, understands in broad terms what the proposed treatment will involve and which of your identified (physiotherapy amenable) problems the treatment is intended to address.  The patient has been told of the ‘nature and purpose of the proposed treatment, together with all significant and material risks, benefits and outcomes of the proposed treatment; and has been told of all the alternative and comparative treatments that are available for the condition being treated.’ The patient then gives ‘informed consent’ to treatment, or indeed ‘informed refusal’ of treatment.

What Types of Consent are there?

Consent may be explicit (written or oral) or implied (a behaviour that implies you agree to something happening to them e.g. wearing shorts and bra or sports top to the physiotherapy session.  Your physiotherapist may need to ask for additional written consent confirming your agreement to certain treatments such as: 

Who can give Consent?

If you are an adult patient (18 years old and over), only you can give consent for your treatment. Your relatives or next of kin cannot do this on your behalf.  

Consent from Children and Young People

Over 16’s: If you are a young person (16 or 17 years old) you are also able to consent to your own treatment although in this case someone with parental responsibility could also give consent.

Under 16’s: Someone with parental responsibility may need to give additional consent for a child up to the age of 16 to have treatment.  

Visit the Department of Health website for detailed information on any of the above cases.

What if I Change my Mind?

You can change your mind at any time.  Please inform your physiotherapist immediately. 

What if I need Further Information?

We encourage you to ask questions at any time.  Please talk to your physiotherapist or any member of our Reception team or Contact Us online.  Find out more about Consent to Treatment principles on the NHS Choices website.

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