Safeguarding - monitoring Consent Form 4 use

This page summarises how Safeguarding teams are using Concentric to quality assure the Consent Form 4 process.

One of the scenarios Concentric is used for is the documentation of the ‘Consent form 4’ process, better described as the documentation of a mental capacity assessment, and subsequent documentation of a best interest decision in those who do not have mental capacity to make this decision at this time. How this is completed, and further details for clinician users, is outlined in our Consent Form 4 guide.

Clinical scenarios requiring a consent form 4 are often complex and involve vulnerable individuals – these clinical scenarios are an important element of the safeguarding team’s role.

During our Concentric deployments to date we’ve heard many safeguarding teams tell us that a challenge for them historically has been visibility of when these scenarios are occuring, and the documentation. This lack of visibility has also meant that it has been difficult for safeguarding teams to offer relevant support and follow up in a timely fashion, or at all.

Following the implementation of Concentric, Safeguarding teams have visibility of Consent Form 4’s being completed, assurance that both a mental capacity assessment best interest documentation is being documented, and full access to the documentation. This supports with auditing compliance with legal and ethical standards, identify individuals and clinical scenarios where the Safeguarding team can support, and identify safeguarding-related training needs within the organisation.

The team at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust published their initial results, titled ‘Electronic consent improves patient safety’ in terms of the Safeguarding team’s visibility of ‘consent form 4’ clinical scenarios.

“For paper documentation to be received by the safeguarding team, a clinician would have to scan the MCA and email it to the safeguarding team. In the 3 years prior to October 2022, they had received 1 form. Currently, the safeguarding team request a weekly report from the electronic consent supplier and receive electronic copies directly. They have received 45 to date (Oct 2022 - Jan 2023).”

A list of consent episodes where a consent form 4 has been used to gain consent is shown in the usage metrics dashboard of the Concentric admin application, to allow Safeguarding teams to monitor use.

Further reading

Consent Form 4 - Treatment in best interests

Our guide to using Concentric for an adult who lacks the capacity to consent to treatment, including when to use a Consent Form 4, how to complete a mental capacity assessment, and who should be the decision maker.