Children and young people as urological patients
Whether in the ward or outpatient clinic it is important to establish the relationship of the adults to the child at the time of the first meeting. In some circumstances this may be particularly important in order to clarify who has responsibility (‘competence’ in legal terminology) to provide consent on behalf of the child. Confidence and trust are not conferred automatically, particularly when parents are anxious and acutely concerned for the welfare of their child. For this reason it is essential that the surgeons introduce themselves, explaining their role in the team and outlining the purpose of the consultation in relation to the possible sequence of events in the child’s treatment. The initial priority is to establish a professional working relationship with the parents and to share information honestly with them in order to arrive at a course of action which all parties believe is in the best interests of the child. This process may involve other health professionals and, possibly, other family members.