Doctors, nurses and other health workers have a duty NOT to give out information about you without your consent, whatever your age, except in exceptional circumstances.
You have the right to talk to a doctor or nurse in complete confidence about issues concerning your health and welfare. The only reason why a medical professional will share information you have given them with another professional is if sharing information is necessary in order to protect you, or another child, from harm or abuse. Even in this situation you should be informed of who else needs to know and why.
The same rules apply on confidentiality for under 16s. Unless disclosure is necessary to protect a young person or child from harm or abuse, any discussion with a medical professional should remain confidential.
Even if a doctor decides that a young person is not mature enough to make a decision about their treatment, the conversation should remain confidential.
More on confidentiality from Brook
Teachers and other members of school staff may not be allowed to keep your discussion with them confidential, so check with them what they can and can't keep confidential before you disclose personal information.
You may be better off talking to the school nurse or someone outside of school if you want to discuss your sexual health or pregnancy.
Doctors, nurses and youth workers should keep your conversation confidential.
Women in the UK do not need to seek consent from anyone in order to be given contraceptive treatment or to have an abortion. The decision to have an abortion is taken by a woman and approved by two doctors. For more see Abortion Law.
It is lawful for doctors to provide contraceptive and abortion advice and treatment without parental consent providing certain criteria are met. These criteria, known as the Fraser Guidelines, and require the professional to be satisfied that:
These guidelines refer to both contraception and abortion. Doctors will encourage a young person to involve a parent or carer in the decision to have an abortion because most parents are able to be supportive.
However, if the doctor agrees that it is in her best interest to have an abortion without parental involvement and believe the young woman is competent (able) to consent to this treatment it is possible to refer her without consent.
Don't let your concern about confidentiality delay you from seeking help and advice from a health professional. Doctors and nurses - especially in young people's sexual health centres like Brook - are used to helping young people. They'll be really pleased that you've come to see them.
Watch this video on where to get contraceptive advice
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