What is meant by consent?
Consent is giving permission to do something.
In Health and Social Care settings, it usually means that the service user gives consent to take part in activities, or to accept support in personal care and treatment, taking medication or sharing personal information.
At Liaise we support people who use a variety of ways to communicate. This can be by writing, using sign language, picture exchange, photos, and body language. All our support workers are trained in communication to enable them to support our service users in all areas of their lives.
We ensure that we seek consent from our service users in all areas, for example
- Can I help brush your hair?
- Can I help clean your teeth?
- Can I come into your room and sit with you?
- Can I go into your wardrobe?
Many of our service users communicate using their body language. By building relationships our support workers understand their preferences. They work together as a team ensuring they share information that will promote the service users’ well-being, independence and choice. Some of the ways our service users indicate consent using their body language are
- They may turn around for you to brush their hair
- They may open their mouth for you to support them with teeth cleaning
- They may smile when you ask to come into their room
- They may walk towards their wardrobe
Signs that the person may not be giving consent could be
- They grab their own hair and move away
- They fold their arms and refuse to open their mouth
- They may close their bedroom door or turn their bodies away from you
- They may stand in front of the wardrobe
At Liaise we work hard to get to know the individual’s likes and dislikes. We build relationships with the individuals, building up trust and we ask open questions using preferred forms of communication.
All co-workers are also trained in the Mental Capacity 2005 to support decision-making when a service user is assessed as lacking capacity. When we do this we involve co-workers and members of the family who know the service user well and ensure they complete a best interest form stating what they believe would be in the best interest of the individual. We have used this for a variety of decisions such as going on holiday and purchasing individual items such as Xboxes and tablets.