Information for the public
Your treatment and care should take into account your personal needs and preferences, and you have the right to be fully informed and to make decisions in partnership with staff responsible for your care. To help with this, staff should give you information you can understand and that is relevant to your circumstances. All staff members and healthcare professionals should treat you with respect, sensitivity and understanding, and explain the treatments for drug problems and dependence simply and clearly. Your right to privacy should be respected.
The information you are given should include details of the possible benefits and risks of particular treatments. You can ask any questions you want to and can always change your mind as your treatment progresses or your condition or circumstances change. Your own preference for a particular treatment is important and staff should support your choice of treatment wherever possible.
Your treatment and care, and the information you are given about it, should take account of any religious, ethnic or cultural needs you may have. It should also take into account any additional factors, such as physical or learning disabilities, sight or hearing problems, or difficulties with reading or speaking English. An interpreter or an advocate (someone who supports you in putting across your views) should be available if needed.
All treatment and care should be given with your informed consent. If, during the course of your illness, you are unable to understand a particular issue or are not able to make decisions about your care, your healthcare professionals have a duty to talk to your family or carers unless you have specifically asked them not to. Healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent (www.gov.uk/government/publications/reference-guide-to-consent-for-examination-or-treatment-second-edition) and the code of practice for the Mental Capacity Act. Information about the Act and consent issues is available from www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/moneyandlegal/legal In Wales healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government (www.wales.nhs.uk/consent).