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To ensure timely and appropriate response to requests for witnessing of documents.



Patients, their relatives or legal representatives, may ask for the patient's signature to be witnessed on several different documents.

These include:

  • Last Will and Testament
  • Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment
  • Access to Pension Books / Banks / Building Society Accounts


The Trust has no legal responsibility to witness any of the above documents. Patients should be encouraged to have such documents formalised (by others) before admission, or after discharge from hospital.

Patients must be medically assessed (see Section 4) before any document can be witnessed. The process of witnessing any document will only be under taken in emergency circumstances and if a signature is required urgently


Who can witness documents

In emergency circumstances, where a signature is required urgently, this can be done by the Clinical Site Nurse Practitioner.

Under no circumstances should any healthcare professional involved with the patient's clinical care undertake the task of witnessing a signature.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Claims and Coroners Manager
Ratified by: TEC
Date Ratified: November 2014
Date Issued: January 2015
Review Date: November 2017
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Claims and Coroners Manager


See also:

  • Assessing a Patient's Mental Capacity to make Decisions
  • Advance Decisions to Refuse Treatment
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice