Information for the public

Involving you in decisions about your care

Involving you in decisions about your care

You should be involved in all decisions about your care. The care team should discuss with you and, if you agree, your family or carer, how likely it is that you'll have violent or aggressive episodes (known as a risk assessment) and plan your care. For more information see assessing your risk of becoming violent or aggressive. If you're not able to take part in planning your care, or don't wish to, the care team should offer you chances to do so in the future.

The care team should make sure you understand and can use your legal rights, for example your right to follow religious or cultural practices during your care. They should make sure that your safety and dignity are protected at all times.

In addition, if you're under 18 the care team should talk with your parents or carers about your care. They should involve you in making decisions whenever possible.

Advance decisions and advance statements

Advance decisions allow you to make choices about your future treatment and care. They may include, for example, any medications you don't wish to be given. Advance decisions are legally binding, which means that the care team must follow them.

Advance statements allow you to set out your preferences, wishes, beliefs and values about your future treatment and care. They may also include information such as situations or events that make you feel violent or aggressive and ways to control feelings of violence and aggression. Advance statements are not legally binding.

You should be encouraged to make advance decisions and advance statements as soon as possible, for example when you're being admitted to an inpatient ward. If you agree, your carer should be involved whenever possible.

The care team should check whether you have made any advance decisions or advance statements as soon as possible, for example when they're admitting you to a psychiatric hospital or unit. They should also check whether someone else has been appointed to make decisions for you.

Questions you might like to ask

  • How do I make an advance decision/advance statement?

  • Can I change my mind later?

  • Who will see my advance decision/statement? Where will it be kept?

  • Information Standard