The practice treats all information relating to patients confidentially. Please do not be offended if we cannot discuss your partner’s/family member's appointment, test results with you without permission from the patient. All personal health information is used purely for the purpose of providing patients with the best possible clinical care. The practice is involved in regular clinical audits and medical research. Any information used for these purposes is anonymous.
Confidentiality and young people
The duty of confidentiality owed to a person under 16 is as great as that owed to any other person. Regardless of whether or not the requested treatment is given, the confidentiality of the consultation should still be respected, unless there are convincing reasons to the contrary.
Any competent young person, regardless of age, can independently seek medical advice and give valid consent to medical treatment. Competency is understood in terms of the patient’s ability to understand the choices and their consequences, including the nature, purpose and possible risk of any treatment (or non-treatment). Parental consent to that treatment is not necessary.
The doctors would prefer young people to have their parents’ support for important and potentially lifechanging decisions. However, should young people not wish parents to be informed of a medical consultation or its outcome the doctor would not override the patient’s views. It is felt that establishing a trusting relationship between patient and doctor will do more to promote health than if doctors refuse to see young patients without involving parents.