Consent for Shoulder & Elbow Surgery

Consent for elective procedures should be obtained by a person competent and capable of performing the procedure. Where this is not practicable the task may be delegated although the responsibility remains with the Clinician.


It is the responsibility of the Clinician providing the treatment or undertaking an investigation to discuss it with the patient and obtain consent.


The patient must be given sufficient information to ensure that they understand:

·         The nature of their condition

·         The type and complexity of treatment proposed

·         The risks associated with the treatment or procedure and their severity

·         The benefits and anticipated outcome of the treatment

·         Alternative treatments (including the option not to treat)

·         Consequences of the proposed treatment

·         Consequences of not accepting the proposed treatment.


The patient should have the opportunity to ask any questions about the treatment.  Arrangements should be put in place for the patient to ask further questions from someone else if necessary.


Where the process of obtaining consent is delegated the person obtaining consent should:


·         Be conversant with the procedure, understands the risks involved, has been trained and assessed to obtain consent, and is aware of his or her own knowledge limitations.

·         Make the patient aware of the implications of the treatment including the pre,  peri and post operative effects and consequences.

·         Have good communication skills.

·         Be subject to an audit process

·         Provide adequate literature describing the procedure, its benefits and risks and any alternatives.

·         Ensure the patient has proper access to the delegating Clinician so that any problems or queries that cannot be answered by the person explaining the treatment can be easily and speedily addressed.


This is a guide for the common shoulder and elbow procedures to assist Junior Doctors obtaining consent for these specific procedures.

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