From: AnaesthesiaWA
Sent: Tuesday, 21 June 2005 5:20 PM
Subject: Anaesthesia Procedure Specific Consent forms

To all Anaesthetists working in the Government Non-teaching Hospitals

The Health Department of WA has recently promulgated an operational circular (1857/04) which seems to mandate the use of procedure specific consent forms. These forms have been drafted by the Office of Quality and Safety in Health for a wide variety of procedures, mostly surgical operations. These consent forms have been used to a varying extent over the last few years in the teaching hospitals. The consent forms for the surgical procedures are concise and outline the major risks in tabulated form.

In contrast the anaesthesia consent forms are wordy and try to cover a wide range of problems. There are aspects that are more suitable for the Teaching Hospitals than the fee for service, VMP dependent, Government Non-teaching Hospitals.

The Operational Circular makes it clear that it is the individual Health Services who have the responsibility for implementing these consent forms. It is unclear how rigidly the various Health Services will interpret this matter. At present, there does not seem to be any compulsion to use these forms. It is unclear if there will be any medicolegal ramifications involved with not using these consent forms for anaesthesia.

The Appendix of Operational Circular 1857/04 states that these consent forms were introduced "in consultation with the relevant specialties". These documents were presented to Anaesthesia WA some years ago and their faults and impracticalities were discussed. They were referred back to the Health Department with suggestion for considerable modification. Neither the Australian Society of Anaesthetists (WA) nor the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (WA) has ever approved these consent forms.

Operational Circular 1857/04 is included in
<http://www.health.wa.gov.au/circulars/downloads/04-10-14.pdf>

Operational Circular 1347/00 is included in
<http://www.health.wa.gov.au/circulars/downloads/00-10-26.pdf>

Office of Quality and Safety in Health Website
<http://www.health.wa.gov.au/safetyandquality/programs/overview.cfm>

OQSH consent forms
<http://www.health.wa.gov.au/safetyandquality/programs/consent_forms.cfm>


Yours sincerely,

Dr Rob Storer
Chair WA Section ASA

Dr Simon Maclaurin
Chair WA regional committee of ANZCA

Phone: (08) 6488 8772
Fax: (08) 6488 8773
Email:  anaesthesia.wa@ctec.uwa.edu.au

Postal Address:
Mail Point M305
University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley  WA  6009

Street address:
1st floor, CTEC Building, U.W.A.
Hackett Drive Entrance #2

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