Confidentiality means when you go to see a professional for any health issue, including sexual health they will not share the information you give them with anyone else, if they think you are fully capable of understanding the treatment, and any possible consequences.
A doctor, nurse or other health professional seeing you for sexual health information, advice, contraception, screening for STIs, or information and referral for abortion may ask you if you wish to inform a parent, carer or other trusted adult.
However, if you do not wish to inform an adult, they will respect your wishes and still offer you treatment.
A professional may be required to break confidentiality if they think you or someone else is at significant risk of harm. However, they will not break confidentiality without informing you first.
Some GP surgeries may not see young people confidentially for sexual health treatment. If you are concerned about whether you will receive a confidential service from your GP or any other service you can telephone them before attending and ask (without giving your name!) if they see young people confidentially for sexual health treatment.
All the services that have the KYPF Kitemark have to have a clear Confidentiality Policy, and should all display a Confidentiality Statement such as this:
“Here To Listen Not to Tell”
We provide a confidential service to all young people attending this service, including under 16’s. This means that you can tell others about this visit, but we won’t.
The only reason why we might have to consider passing on confidential information would be to protect you or someone else from very serious harm, however we will always try to discuss this with you first.
What If I’ve Attended A Service That Wasn’t Confidential?
If you have attended any health service and are worried that your information may have been shared, or you were not seen at a service because you were under 16 and wishing to attend without an adult, you have the right to complain (see section on Complaining about a Service)