Appropriate consent

What is appropriate consent?

Professionals must gain consent to initiate the pathway according to the policies and guidelines of individual organisations.

Parents/carers do not need to gain consent to initiate the pathway for someone for whom they are legally responsible.

Informed, explicit, written consent is required from the family to begin the Common Assessment Framework process. This should be obtained using the Nottingham City CAF Consent Form. This ensures that information can be shared across identified agencies with the family’s knowledge and that they are fully involved throughout the process. Once the assessment form has been completed the parent or carer or young person must give their consent for the written information to be shared, this should be done by signing the CAF form in the appropriate place. Consent is required from at least one parent/carer with parental responsibility.

In all cases, whether or not a CAF is in place, consent must be gained before a referral is made to the Single Point of Access. It is important to  ensure that consent is made for referral, and that consent has been given to share information with other professionals working with the child or young person.

Before obtaining consent please consider:

  • The policies and procedures of your organisation.
  • Is the consent ‘informed’? This means that the person giving consent understands that information regarding the referral will be shared, who the information will be shared with, and the implications of sharing the information.
  • The age of the child or young person and if they have the capacity to understand and make their own decisions. Young people aged 16 or 17 are presumed to be capable of consenting to their own medical treatment or referral. However, children aged 12 or over may generally be expected to have sufficient understanding. Considerations about whether a child has sufficient understanding are often referred to as Gillick competence – see below guide to consent for further information.
  • Parental consent: where parental consent is required, the consent of one such person is sufficient. A person with parental responsibility for a child could be:
    – the child’s mother or father;
    – the child’s legally appointed guardian;
    – a person with a residence order concerning the child;
    – a local authority designated to care for the child;
    – a local authority or person with an emergency protection order for the child.
  • Has the adult capacity to consent in line with The Mental Capacity Act 2005.

The Department of Health has prepared a guide to consent for examination or treatment.