The Quality of Operative Consenting Against RCOG Advice as Standard
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2010 February; 30(2): 159-165
Clinical Governance Advice published by the RCOG states that 'before seeking a women's consent ... you should ensure that she understands the nature of the condition for which treatment is being proposed, its prognosis, likely consequences and risks of receiving no treatment at all'. The importance of obtaining informed consent within obstetrics and gynaecology is highlighted by the litigious nature of our specialty, with CNST data, demonstrating that it makes up 21% of all claims and incur highest cost of any other specialty. We present an audit of the quality of operative consenting for 120 procedures over a 3-month period for five procedures (diagnostic hysteroscopy and laparoscopy, total abdominal hysterectomy, vaginal repair/hysterectomy and lower segment caesarean section) for which we have RCOG advice (Numbers 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, respectively). The quality of consent was also assessed by grade of clinicians. The results identify significant deficiencies when various gynaecological and obstetric procedures are being consented for, and we have discussed various options recommended for improvement.
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