When it is appropriate for us to seek consent, we need to make sure that consent is given on an informed basis by explaining:
- The purpose for which it is to be shared
- What information is to be shared
- With whom it is to be shared
We need to obtain the consent of the service user to share their individual information when seeing them for the first time or at the point when we decide that another partner agency’s services/input are required.
The leaflet ‘Information Sharing’ should be explained and left with the individual for future reference but should never be used as the sole means of explaining and obtaining informed consent. Consent is recorded within the child’s Assessment and Plan.
Although we may have obtained written consent, verbal permission to share is acceptable in practice in certain circumstances. We should follow this up by obtaining written consent or we should advise the individual in writing that their verbal consent has been recorded as given.
We should record in the individual’s case notes:
- What information is being shared
- With whom the information is being shared
- That consent has been given
In the case of existing protocols and procedures, this may also entail recording or indicating that information is to be shared, by opening up a ‘sharing box/pick list’ on an agency’s electronic service user/patient data base/system.