The GCC has updated its guidance on consent, replacing that published in 2016. The new guidance, developed following an extensive expert review, supports compliance with the Code, and registrants must review it carefully.

The guidance sets out the basis on which patients provide consent to treatment. It underlines the requirement that registrants must be satisfied that consent has been given before undertaking any examination, investigation or treatment. Furthermore, it sets out the principles on which good clinical decisions should be based and provides a framework for good practice that covers the various situations that chiropractors may face in their work.

The guidance is not exhaustive, with registrant judgement still required to apply the consent principles for situations within their practice.

The guidance has eight sections:

  • What is consent?
  • Types of consent
  • Obtaining valid consent
  • Capacity
  • Treatment of young people and children
  • Documenting consent
  • Intimate examinations and/or treatment
  • Chaperones
  • Key amendments and additions

Additional standards from The Code included strengthening the subject areas of patient records, intimate examinations and chaperones.

A greater emphasis on obtaining consent as an ongoing, instead of an initial, condition of the decision-making process.

Patients can withdraw their consent anytime, with their decision and choices respected.

Additional focus on capacity, assessing capacity and capacity issues that could affect a registrant’s decision-making process.

A new section on intimate examinations or treatments establishes the process to adhere to, including explaining why the examination/treatment is appropriate, assessing capacity, obtaining consent for the examination/treatment and providing privacy to the patient to maintain dignity.

A new section on chaperones, including when to offer, the benefits, and options if a patient declines the offer.