Guide to accessing GP services for young people

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. This leaflet explains your rights once you are thought to be old enough to make your own decisions about your health care information.

Patients under the age of 16 should normally be accompanied by an adult when seeing a doctor or collecting medicines. However, under certain circumstances, patients below this age may be seen by a doctor, for example, if parents know that the child is at the surgery. Young people may also see a Doctor without parental knowledge to discuss sexual health matters, including contraception.

This may be information about:
• Sex
• Relationships
• Pregnancy
• Contraception
• Drugs & 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 you 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.