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The creation of the Care Quality Commission, the publication of High Quality Care for All, the establishment of the NHS Constitution and publication of new guidance from professional bodies , all now set a new context for healthcare providers to consider their consent policy and processes.  

Since 2001, the Department of Health guidance on consent  has required NHS Trusts to adopt a model consent policy, model forms and information leaflets with the aim of ensuring that good practice in seeking consent was put in place throughout the NHS.  Consent is an essential element in all aspects of care and treatment, and ensuring high standards of practice remains a key aim.  In this respect, the Department has been considering the future role of its guidance in the new arrangements for the regulation of healthcare providers and promoting quality.  

The Department is, therefore, currently undertaking a review of consent in the NHS which will not only identify and evaluate the NHS approach to, and practice on, gaining consent but which will also evaluate the impact on practice of existing DH guidance and forms.   Importantly, the review will also be exploring how quality for consent can best be developed, enhanced and embedded across the NHS.

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