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Informed Consent Protocols for Youths & Adults

Up to Implementation Plans
May 22. 2012
gillian ormston

Hi All,

We are currently implementing an ageless Liaison and Diversion Service, in Sussex, which assesses youths in the Police Custody suite as well as Adult Offenders.

We were wondering whether anyone else is implementing a similarly ageless scheme and if so whether you have developed any "informed consent protocols" which addresses the issue of obtaining informed consent from youths who don't necessarily have a parent / guardian with them at the point of assessment.

We would really welcome the opportunity to talk to similar schemes and share learning early on in the pilots.

Many thanks

Gillian Ormston

Project Manager


May 24. 2012

Dear Gillian,

Thats sounds fantastic, I did wonder about whether or not at some point both services would be amalgamated in the sense that they'll operate together to become one service but respective of different skills etc..

I too am querying the informed consent as it has come up recently in conversation with the police, as they don't want to be held liable. The other issue is that you can't keep them in the police STN.

At a previous DOH meeting there was a presentation from the appropriate adult service and their role in supporting the A/YJDL service.

Lewisham have trained their appropriate adults to look for mental health etc..

This doesn't answer question Gillian but it would be good to hear what others have to say on the matter as I too would want to know a little. It may be that a protocol is devised, based on the BMA consent information and information sharing guidelines partnership between the NHS/YOS/Social care.

Best wishes


May 25. 2012
gillian ormston
Hi Angela,
Thanks for responding, it's good to hear that others are encountering similar issues.
After posting our question, I found a discussion earlier in March where the Youth Information Sharing guidance was available. Our Youth a offending Service had a look and responding as per below so we are looking at how we can build this text into our Operational Policy. I'll repost the link to the document in a mo.
It'd be good to keep the conversation going to see if anyone else has come up with any issues too

There is an excellent section on pages 18-19 which I think could be useful and I have been back to the source DFES document which states:

‘ A young person aged 16 or 17, or a child under 16 who has the capacity to understand and make their own decisions, may give (or refuse) consent to sharing. Children aged 12 or over may generally be expected to have sufficient understanding. Younger children may also have sufficient understanding. When assessing a child’s understanding you should explain the issues to the child in a way that is suitable for their age, language and likely understanding. Where applicable you should use their preferred mode of communication.

May 25. 2012

Hi Gillian,

Yep that's the one I was on about, is there any chance you may be able to advise me a little on the operational policy- it would be helpful as I work alone, it's just me basically! It would be helpful in reassuring the police.

Let me know your thoughts as I know it may be something that applies to your organisation.

Best wishes




May 26. 2012
gillian ormston

Hi Angela,

Of course, maybe we can make contact via phone so we can put context around the conversation.

Let me have a number I can contact you on and I'll give you a call next week

Have a great weekend


May 28. 2012
ann attwood


I am part of a team at Newcastle Crown Court which is made up of a consultant forensic psychiatrist, a psychiatric nurse and myself ( a lawyer).

We are in the process of preparing a consent form in easy read.

Would this be of any assistance to go along with your work?

Ann Attwood

May 28. 2012

Hi Ann and Gillian,

This all sounds Fantastic, especially coming from a legal perspective.

My contact number is: 020 7974 4834

I would put down my personal number but I'm conscious that this network is available on a Google Search, if you type your full name in!

Much appreciated


May 29. 2012
gillian ormston

Hi Ann,

Thanks for the offer and yes please, - it would be great to see your consent form once completed.

It would be great to have an idea of when it might be available if you know.

Angela - I will aim to give you a call today on the way to Sussex


Best wishes


May 29. 2012
sue staddon

Hi Gillian,

We are taking a SW approach to the SLA with the police and with consent, what can be shared without etc.  I am meeting with the lawyer from the SHA in a couple of weeks to get some advice - do you want to send me some questions for her and I will get back to you?

I am also working across the South too so hope to come and see you soon so we can share what is going on across the South.




May 30. 2012
gillian ormston

Thanks Sue,

Good to hear from you first of all. Yes please it wold be good to hear what you find out from the lawyers around information sharing as it is definitely an interesting question from a health and criminal justice perspective.

I'll send you some questions via email

Thanks for responding


June 14. 2012
Nicola Jane Ellis

Hi All,

I have worked as a YOT Nurse & now work with the Early Adopter Police Forces and in my experience, as long as you can demonstrate consideration to Fraser Guidleines i.e. the Child or Young Person is competent to make their own decisions, you should be fine with regard to informed consent.  It may be useful to speak with the local Safeguarding Childrens Team, Looked After Children Nurses, School Nurses & CAMHS as they will alomost certainly have something that is agreed locally which could be utilised or adapted to suit your needs?  Barnados are usually a good resource for information about CYP's aswell.

Also, the staff need to ensure they document everything discussed with the CYP (but that should go without saying!) 

From the Police perspective, under PACE legislation and Standards for the Detention & Safer Handling of Prisoners guidance, they need to ensure an appropriate adult is present anyway, this may help with the consent issues.

Good luck with it,

Nicola Ellis, Primary Care Lead, Regional Offender Health Team (North West)

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