Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

31st July 2020

What do I need to understand about Consent?

Can you please send guidelines to ensure all correct procedures and policies are followed for gaining consent.  I need to know what to do when consent is denied by the person and, when you have proof that resident is unsafe. I would also like to know how to ensure that the person has a care plan needed to improve their quality of life. This a question in my chosen field of work, it is important not to mess this up.


Thank you for your question. Consent is a complicated area and is different for adults and for children. For consent to be valid, it must be voluntary and informed, and the person consenting must have the capacity to make the decision. This means for consent to be valid ( that means legal) it must be:

  • voluntary – the decision to either consent or not to consent to treatment must be made by the person, and must not be influenced by pressure from medical staff, friends or family
  • informed – the person must be given all of the information about what the treatment involves, including the benefits and risks, whether there are reasonable alternative treatments, and what will happen if treatment does not go ahead
  • capacity – the person must be capable of giving consent, which means they understand the information given to them and can use it to make an informed decision

If an adult has the capacity to make a voluntary and informed decision to consent to or refuse a particular treatment, their decision must be respected.

SCIE ( The Social Care Institute for Excellence in Social Care) have some helpful resources on Mental Capacity and Consent The Mental Capacity Act is an important part of delivering person centred care and making sure any care plans reflect the needs, wishes and expectations of the person you are caring for. This will hopefully help your understanding.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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