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3. Seeking Consent

3.1 As  long as consent to investigation or treatment has been gained from the patient it is not necessary in law to seek additional consent to  treatment which will be undertaken by a student or trainee as the nature and purpose of the procedure remains the same whoever undertakes the task13,14

The SCoR reaffirms its statement that from an ethical perspective, a patient must be made aware that the examination will be undertaken by a student and not a qualified health professional and permission to proceed must be sought from the patient through his/her explicit verbal agreement12

In addition the Health Professions Council15  advises that the student should make sure that before any intervention is carried out that the service user:

  • is aware that a student will undertake the procedure;
  • has given their permission for the intervention to be carried out by a student
  • has been given an explanation by the student about the procedure to be carried out
  • has been given an explanation of any risks associated with it.

3.4 The task of gaining consent may be delegated by a supervising radiographer to the non-registered workforce who is proven competent to do so following education and training. The  radiographer retains the overall responsibility for the task and accountability for the decision to delegate. The person who has been delegated the task is responsible for their own actions.

Assistant practitioners in clinical imaging undertaking limited protocol driven plain film examinations on the co-operative, communicative and conscious adult patient may take responsibility for obtaining patient consent in these limited contexts provided s/he is proven competent to do so following education and training16.

Obtaining consent for radiotherapy is deemed to be beyond the scope of practice and role of the assistant practitioner in radiotherapy17.

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