When you are young, your parents are usually involved in your health care. They may make decisions for you, and speak to health workers on your behalf. But as you get older you have more rights. You can decide if you want your parents to be involved or not.
Anyone that looks after your health has to keep information about you private. This may be doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other health workers. If you want to talk to a health worker about something personal, they must keep this information confidential, even if you are under 16. This may be information about:
- Drugs and Alcohol
- Feeling down
Sometimes health workers do need to share information about you to give you good care. They may share information about you with other health workers who are looking after you - for example, health workers at another hospital or clinic if you have agreed to go there. This is to make your care safer, easier and faster.
They will only share information that is needed to give the best care. If there are particular things that you don't want to be shared, tell your health worker. If they think you are at risk of serious harm or you are in danger, they may have to tell another adult about it to be able to help you. But even then, they should tell you they are going to do this and explain who they will tell and why.
Sometimes the law allows the health service to share information about you without you agreeing to it. This would only happen in very serious situations, for example, if you have an illness that puts other people at risk, such as meningitis.
Full information is available by downloading this leaflet Guide to Accessing GP Services for Young People