consent for special needs patients online course

How to establish consent before treating a patient with special needs


This online course is about learning exactly what ‘consent’ really is and understanding that even if a person says ‘yes’, it doesn’t necessarily mean they understand what they are consenting to, or if they are saying ‘yes’ under their own will, or indeed saying ‘no’ under pressure.


Throughout the course I have tried to introduce the various version in law, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Most laws are very similar, but Acts, titles and names often vary.


Anybody with even the slightest connection to the medical profession knows that consent is required for every procedure undertaken, even an examination or a minor procedure.

This consent may be oral or implied. However, it is the responsibility of every first responder, first aider or clinician to obtain informed consent – giving the patient all the available information, including risks and benefits of treatment along with any alternatives.

Learn what Informed consent requires.

Capacity to consent is the duty of the first responder, first aider or clinician and he/she must ensure that the patient has the relevant capability. It is a part of the first responder’s, first aider’s or clinicians’ duty of care to the patient and a failure to do so could equate to being negligent.

There are robust legal rules concerning the capacity to consent and they protect those persons who, for whatever reason, are unable to give informed, legal consent.

Mental illness isn’t always obvious; indeed, some adults can suffer from a temporary or permanent impairment of their decision-making capacity – those with an intellectual disability, even a UTI (Urinary Tract Infection), dementia, psychiatric illness, acquired brain injury or inability to communicate their decision, PTSD and many other causes that affect an individual’s decision-making capacity.

These adults will be referred to as vulnerable, for the purpose of this course.

Learn Assessment of capacity

The merit of a patient’s agreement to treatment is that it recognises his or her entitlement to make his or her own decision.

Learn What factors should be considered when assessing competence to consent to treatment.

The assessment of a patient’s capacity to decide about medical treatment is a matter for clinical judgement guided by professional practice and subject to legal requirements.

Learn the different approaches to gaining consent.

Learn the mechanisms to address loss of capacity

One Woman Forced the Change of Consent Laws.

Videos on:

Understanding basic medical emergency signing for people with special needs (Makaton) and British sign language.

Download ‘The Hospital Communication Book’ – Helping to make sure people who have difficulties understanding and /or communicating get an equal service in hospital.

Here’s a sample section of a scenario:

first aid gaining consent online courseYou are called to an equestrian event; a young girl has been kicked in the chest by a horse.

She is 15 years old, her parents are at the venue somewhere.

She describes her pain score as 8 and painful from her sternum across her left ribs, under her breast and upwards to below her armpit.

Your concern is broken ribs.

Do you have the skillset to feel for broken ribs?

Do you need consent?

Can a 15-year-old give you consent?

Why do you need to feel her ribs?

If the consequences of feeling her ribs is that you may touch or move her breasts … do you need to inform her of this?

The course covers the many and varying laws in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland where applicable.


understanding consent for first aidIt is indepth but plain English, 20 A4 pages in PDF format. Online distance learning – no time limits.

Study at your own pace, in your own time, anywhere you like.

When you’re ready and feel confident – take a test.

The test comprises multiple choice answers, simply submit the one that you feel is correct and submit it.

Upon completion you will receive a certificate of understanding as illustrated here.

The cost is only £20 for the course.

Hit the ‘Buy Now’ button. you’ll receive your coursework within 24 hours!