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Explain the importance of establishing consent when providing care or support

Qualification: Level 2 Diploma in Adult Care
Unit name: Implement Person-Centred Approaches in Care Settings
Learning outcome: 3. Be able to establish consent when providing care or support
Assessment criteria: 3.1 Explain the importance of establishing consent when providing care or support

To work in a way that encompasses person-centred values it is important that you are aware of your responsibility to gain an individual’s consent when providing care or support.

Consent is the individual’s agreement that they are happy to receive care, support or treatment. This can only be obtained when you have provided enough information to the individual for them to make an informed choice about whether they want to receive care or support. By establishing consent, you are working with the person-centred values of dignity, respect and choice.

Consent can be:

  • Verbal – for example, you ask an individual if you can apply an ointment to their foot
  • Written – for example, an individual signs their care plan to indicate that they agree with the contents
  • Implied – for example, an individual opens their mouth when you move a spoon with food on it towards them

In addition, establishing consent is an important legal requirement as legislated by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. NOTE: there may be mitigating circumstances where an individual does not have the capacity to consent themselves and a ‘best interests’ decision must be made on their behalf, however without evidence of this, mental capacity must always be assumed.