Parental Responsibility and Consent

Nov 1, 2023

Do you treat under 18s? Do you understand who can give consent for under 13s?

Our blogs before have covered 16 and 17 year olds and Gillick Competent 14 and 15 year olds so this month we are looking at under 13s. The CSP advises that children under 13 should be accompanied by an informal chaperone. Can this person also give consent?

After the first assessment and treatment do you gain ongoing parental consent when you change treatment?

Only the person with parental responsibility can give consent

The Children’s Act 1989 sets out the legal definition of parental responsibility. Make sure that on that first appointment the person with parental responsibility brings the child to their first appointment. Providing you don’t change the treatment that was consented to then a future chaperone can be a family member or friend. If your treatment plan changes then you need to go back to the person who has parental responsibility to gain consent again

To ensure that the right person accompanies the child on their first appointment it can be helpful to send a letter which states who can and cannot give consent. This saves any embarrassment and helps the assessment and treatment to go smoothly with no awkwardness if the person who has brought the child cannot consent

Our offer of the month is the comprehensive list of who has parental responsibility. There is also a template which can be used as the letter to send out with a child’s first appointment.

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