Confidentiality & Consent

 

What happens to my information?

We have a computer system called SystmOne which holds the medical records of all our patients. This is totally confidential and the only people who access the notes are those health professionals and administration staff who need to do so to assist with your care. If we need to refer you to the hospital for treatment then the information that is relevant to your care will be shared with those professionals who are being asked to help you.

 

What does it mean for you?

Any young person has the right to seek advice from a health professional; doctor or nurse on their own or with a friend without their parent or another adult knowing about it.

  • We do not have the right to tell anybody about what you have discussed with us, without your permission. However some decisions may be difficult and mean that the support of a trusted adult is important. For this reason we do try to encourage you to discuss things with a trusted adult or parent where possible.
  • When you are seen by a doctor or nurse, the decision to offer you treatment/medication without an adult being present depends on how happy we are that you fully understand a) what the treatment means and the advice given, b) the options that you have been given regarding different types of treatment c) whether or not you understand possible risks or side effects of the treatment and finally that you know to come back to us if you have any problems.
  • Being able to agree to treatment on your own is not dependent on your age it is dependent on your understanding of what is being offered.

Young people in the care system often have worries about what information is being given to different people about them. Your information would only be shared with those who really need to know and with your knowledge and permission so that you have control over your own information.

  • Limitations to confidentiality – this part is very important. We have what is called a ‘duty of care’ to you which means that we must be sure that you are safe and that decisions you are making or advice and treatment that we are giving is in the best interests of your health and wellbeing and that of other people.
  • If the doctor or nurse that you are seeing has a concern that you may be in danger or putting others in danger we have a duty to disclose that information without your consent to an appropriate person who will look into the situation.
  • People under the age of 13 years old are not legally capable of agreeing to have sex or be involved in sexual activity. This means that the nurse or doctor may feel that to protect you this information needs to be shared with an appropriate person. This would normally be done with your knowledge and the doctor or nurse would help support you through this time and fully explain the reasons why this is needed so that you understand.