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NSW Public Guardian COVID-19 Vaccine Consent Process

Reads: COVID-19 News Update

9/03/2021

In response to questions from the NSW sector, NDS has sought clarification relating to the process for obtaining consent for the COVID-19 Vaccine for people with disability who have the Public Guardian appointed as their guardian with a medical and dental consent function.

NDS has been provided with the following advice from NSW Public Guardian regarding the consent process in NSW.

From the NSW Public Guardian:

For NSW residents who have the Public Guardian appointed as their guardian, the giving or withholding of consent to the COVID-19 vaccine is considered a Minor Medical treatment in line with existing standard consent criteria based on Part 5 of the Guardianship Act 1987 (NSW)

The objects of the Guardianship Act Part 5 include that represented people receive necessary medical treatment that promotes their health and wellbeing.

The one consent from the Public Guardian covers both doses of the vaccine.

Consent only needs to be sought from the Public Guardian if the person has a guardianship order appointing the Public Guardian which includes the authority to make decisions about the person’s medical and dental treatment, and the person cannot provide their own consent.

Consent can be provided verbally, in discussion with a medical practitioner, or by using the Public Guardian’s Medical Consent Form [PDF]. Verbal applications for a consent to minor medical treatment still require the same information from the treating medical practitioner consistent with the Public Guardian's Medical Consent form.

This information includes:

  • What are the views of the person?
  • Is the person objecting to the treatment? What is the nature of the objections?
  • Has the person’s medical practitioner assessed the person is suitable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • What are the individual risks for the represented person given their current health status?

The Australian Government has developed its own COVID-19 Vaccination Form. In relation to people who have the Public Guardian appointed as their guardian, this can only be used when it is clear a ‘medical practitioner’ has assessed the clinical suitability of the person to receive the vaccine and has signed the consent form. In this instance, a Registered Nurse is not considered a medical practitioner.

You can find more information about medical and dental consent at NSW Trustee and Guardian’s website or call the Public Guardian’s Information and Support team on 8688 6070.

Contact information

For any enquiries, please contact Karen Stace, Senior Manager State and Territory Operations, 02 9256 3111,