This paper provides advice for clinicians in obtaining the consent of women undergoing repair of third- or fourth-degree perineal tears following childbirth. This paper is intended to be appropriate for a number of procedures and combinations and the consent form should be carefully edited under the heading ‘Name of proposed procedure or course of treatment’ to accurately describe the exact procedure to be performed, after discussion with the woman.
The paper follows the structure of Consent Form 1 of the Department of Health, England/Welsh Assembly Government/Scottish Government/Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland. It should be used in conjunction with RCOG Clinical Governance Advice No. 6: Obtaining Valid Consent. Please refer to RCOG Green-top Guideline No. 29: The Management of Third- and Fourth-degree Perineal Tears.
The aim of this advice is to ensure that all women are given consistent and adequate information for consent; it is intended to be used together with dedicated patient information. After discharge women should have clear direction to obtaining help if there are unforeseen problems.
Clinicians should be prepared to discuss with the women any of the points listed in the guidance.