The NHS Plan identified the need for changes in consent practice, and led to the issuing of a model consent policy and standard consent forms for use in the NHS. The aim of this study was to determine current consent practices for common rhinology and laryngology procedures.
A telephone survey was conducted of 40 otolaryngology Senior House Officers (SHOs) across England and Wales, asking about local consent procedure, and the specific complications discussed before common operations.
The responsibility for routine consenting belonged to SHOs in 95 per cent of departments. Model NHS consent forms were used in 72.5 per cent and information sheets given to patients in 25 per cent of departments. The specific operative risks mentioned to patients by the SHOs showed great variability.
The provision of standardized consent protocols for each operation, together with information sheets and the model NHS forms, could aid juniors involved in consent and prove beneficial to our patients.