I have a question regarding the level of consent required for a WhatsApp study with patients enrolled in a health service (NHS).
I will be conducting a feasibility cluster randomised trial, whereby clusters (programmes) will be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group (usual care). I will be providing patients in the intervention group with a phone with WhatsApp and my initial thought was that I would need patient level consent for them to be involved in a study including social networking/or for them to at least provide some sort of declaration stating that they understand WhatsApp. However, I wonder whether this is necessary. For example, whether it would be possible to just gain consent from the lead of the programme (e.g. for them act as patient guardian)?