The implications of Montgomery vs. Lanarkshire health board for NHS patient information services

Eve Scott, Omer Aziz, Hazel Rushton, Carmel Anandadas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    English law around the sufficiency of the information provided to a patient as part of the consent process has evolved over time from being a decision for the clinician to make about what to disclose to one where the information must be bespoke to the individual patient about risks that would be material to them personally, but perhaps not necessarily to the next person. Failure to provide sufficient information for decision-making could result in a clinical negligence claim for ‘failure to warn’. The recent case of Montgomery versus Lanarkshire Health Board has significant implications for clinicians obtaining a patient’s consent to treatment. The outcome of this case makes the planning of care truly patient-centred and puts the onus on the clinician to ascertain exactly what would be a material risk to that individual and ensure that they are given sufficient information on which to base an informed decision. This article discusses this step change in the legal requirements for the provision of information and how clinicians at The Christie, an English tertiary cancer centre, supported by our information services, have grasped this challenge of ensuring that patients are adequately informed about their treatment options. This article considers only competent adults being prepared for treatment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-41
    Number of pages4
    JournalClinical Risk
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2016


    • Clinical negligence
    • Consent
    • Information provision
    • Medical negligence law
    • Montgomery


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