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Princes of Wales Hospital to trial Consent Plus

Released on - 05/09/2016

Princes of Wales Hospital to trial Consent Plus

A team from Princess of Wales Hospital will be getting animated to help patients decide if they want to go ahead with surgery. The Health Foundation has awarded the hospital £75,000 to introduce a new initiative for people needing knee or hip replacements. It includes commissioning a series of 12 bite-sized videos to explain the surgical procedure and risks, along with any alternative options. Patients will then be asked questions to make certain they understand what’s involved before deciding whether to have the operation.

Called Consent Plus, it will be piloted from September 2016 with 100 patients taking part. An initial two videos have been produced and the rest will be commissioned once the pilot has been assessed. Patients must give informed consent before treatment or examination can take place, after all the relevant information has been given to them.

However, patient feedback revealed many of them could not remember or fully understand the risk of complications of surgery. A subsequent legal case in Scotland reinforced the need for doctors to document and demonstrate patient understanding and knowledge of the treatment risks, implications and options.

Princess of Wales Hospital carries out elective hip and knee replacement surgery for patients from Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot.The original idea for Consent Plus came from British Orthopaedic Association clinical leadership fellow Paul Lee and consultant orthopaedic surgeon Amit Chandratreya.

They are leading the pilot, along with consultant general and colorectal surgeon Barry Appleton, consultant surgeon Keshav Singhal, and surgical care practitioner Nicola Bayliss. Mr Chandratreya said: “We currently obtain the informed consent of all patients before any procedures are carried out. But there is now a greater onus on surgeons and health professionals not just to explain the procedures and risks but to ensure patients understand them. So this is the next step of an informed consent process.”

Princess of Wales Hospital runs a joint school – a weekly clinic where patients close to admission for knee or hip replacement can meet staff, have vital pre-op checks and find out more about what surgery entails.

Mr Chandratreya added: “For the pilot, which will start in September and run for 15 months, we will recruit 100 patients listed for hip or knee replacement surgery. They will come to the joint school and we will show them two animated videos we have already made, then questions will be asked. There will be no pass or fail, it’s just to make sure they understand. So it’s a safety checkpoint for the patients. We will use the feedback from the patients, from families, and from staff to help design further videos so that we have 12 in all, in Welsh and English."

Further information can be found on the Health in Wales website.

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