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Montgomery judgement is still front-of-mind for insurers and clinicians

It’s over two years since the Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board case changed the process of informed consent between doctor and patient. In October 2016, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) issued new guidance[1] for working with patients through the process of informed decision-making.

Although many professionals are becoming accustomed to the new consent process, legal commentators note that it is still very much a “live” issue. One legal and consulting firm predicts a rise in consent claims, suggesting that hospitals and clinicians need to take action to protect themselves. They even report hearing of Montgomery-related allegations being added to existing claims[2]. PMP’s legal advisers Clyde & Co, who won the first case after the Montgomery decision, have suggested that its effects “are yet to be fully worked through”.[3]

However well informed you are about this important legal shift, it’s always good to have access to support when you need it. PMP’s medico-legal helpline is available 24/7 to our policyholders should you ever have specific legal queries.

[1] Consent: Supported Decision-Making – a good practice guide https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/library-and-publications/college-publications/docs/consent-good-practice-guide/

[2] RPC Annual Insurance Review 2016, https://www.rpc.co.uk/perspectives/insurance-reviews/annual-insurance-review-2016, p20

[3] Discussion of alternative treatment options: it’s not optional, Clyde & Co, https://clydeco.com/insight/article/discussion-of-alternative-treatment-options-its-not-optional