P3 – CONSENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE

POLICY

The issue of informed consent is recognised by Lighthouse Health Group (LHG) as a challenging area due to the functional limitations of some of our participants.

Lighthouse Health Group has identified the need to obtain consent from our participants for the five (5) following activities:

  • Understanding of, and agreement to, the terms and conditions of the NDIS Service Agreement;
  • Commencement of the services outlined in the Support Plan;
  • Seeking and Disclosing information with other service providers and pertinent others;
  • Taking and use of photographic/video materials by LHG for use in participant related records; and
  • Participation in Participant Satisfaction Surveys and Quality Management Activities.

LHG recognises the rights of the participant to limit their consents or withdraw consents at any time.

OUTCOME

  • Consent is appropriately sought and given by the participant or their substitute decision maker; and
  • Consent is appropriately documented and securely stored for all participants receiving services from Lighthouse Health Group.

PROCEDURES           

Consent to Partake in Initial Assessment

The LHG Intake Checklist used by the staff member taking the new referral includes obtaining verbal consent from the participant or their substitute decision maker to undergo the Initial Assessment and for the associated fees to be claimed through the participant’s NDIS account.  This verbal consent is recorded on the participant’s file.

Consent to seek and disclose information to others

At the time of the Initial Assessment the participant will consider the consents contained in the NDIS Service Agreement.  One of these consents is for sharing information with and obtaining information from other Service Providers and pertinent others.  The participant can choose to provide limited consent, e.g. choose for information not be shared with certain Service Providers and this choice will be respected.

This consent is stored on the participant file and is referred to prior to information being sent or information being sought.

Consent to proceed with services

At the time of the initial assessment the LHG Allied Health Professional (AHP) will discuss planned services and any risks associated with the planned services.  Participants are given the opportunity to ask questions until they understand and are satisfied with the explanation of the answers.  Participants are requested to sign a Service Agreement which includes a consent section that includes the consent for services to be provided.  Participants are informed they can withdraw their consent for services at any time.

Consent to use photographic/video materials for use in participant related records

Participants are requested to sign a Service Agreement which includes a consent section for taking photographs or video for the purpose of therapy and inserting in reports if required.

Consent to participate in Participant Satisfaction Surveys and Quality Management Activities

  • Participants are requested to sign a Service Agreement which includes a consent section for participating in a Participant Satisfaction Survey and Quality Management Activities;
  • Participants are informed of their right to refuse consent;
  • Participants are informed of their right to withdraw consent at any time; and
  • Participants are informed their decision not to partake in Participant Satisfaction Surveys or Quality Management Activities will not change or jeopardise the services or treatment they receive from LHG.

Storage of Consent

  • The range of consents is part of the Service Agreement Form;
  • All Service Agreement Forms are safely electronically stored and attached to the participant record; and
  • All paper Service Agreement Forms are stored in locked, fireproof cabinets.

Consent to use participant’s photographic/video materials for marketing or external use

LHG’s general consents do not include consent to use photographs or video material of participants for marketing or non-participant related reports.  In the event this consent was being sought a separate consent would be used and documented specifying the details of the marketing project or report.  This consent would be stored as above and attached to the participant record.

Staff Training

Staff are inducted on the various consents and the documentation of consent at induction and then annually or as required.

Overview

Only some states have specific legislation on consent in health servic

“10.58 The law on decision-making in health care is complex.  Inconsistency in language, and different tests of decision-making capacity and processes across the jurisdictions may cause difficulties for health service providers and consumers”.

Extract from Australian Law Reform Commission 20 May 2011

https://www.alrc.gov.au/publication/equality-capacity-and-disability-in-commonwealth-laws-dp-81/10-review-of-state-and-territory-legislation/informed-consent-to-medical-treatment/

Age of Consent
It is important to note that the age that a child can give consent varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  Across most of Australia it is over 18 but in SA & NSW children 16 (or even as young as 14 in some circumstances) can make decisions.

https://www.racgp.org.au/download/documents/AFP/2011/March/201103bird.pdf

Legislation and References

NSW

NSW has a number of Resources including NSW Health Policy Directive Consent to Medical treatment.  Patient Information Document Number PD2005-406 2005

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/legislation/Pages/consent-to-treatment.aspx

QLD

Good guide to consent in health services – including AH & when person does not have capacity to provide.  Guide to Informed Decision-Making in Health Care

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/143074/ic-guide.pdf

SA

Consent to Medical Treatment and Health Care Policy Guideline

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/f0ee918046d8588f8b8ffb22d29d99f6/Guideline_Consent_to_Medical_Treatment+and_Health_Care_v4.0_09.11.2018.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE-f0ee918046d8588f8b8ffb22d29d99f6-mMEVrZ1

It also provides a useful flowchart of decision-making that can be adapted for your local jurisdiction and / or for training purposes.

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/e1d8ec004502e7a4a9d0f9005ba75f87/Final+-+Flowchart%28v6%29webs.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE-e1d8ec004502e7a4a9d0f9005ba75f87-mMzv55N

 

 

Reviewed 16 March 2020

By JB LK JP