Your Rights to Confidentiality Whatever your age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief or ethnicity.
What does confidentiality mean?
When you are looking for information, advice or support for yourself you will want to make sure that the person you go to respects your privacy. An important part of protecting your privacy is making sure that members of staff do not tell anyone anything about you without asking you first.
What are your rights to confidentiality?
We provide a confidential service to all who attend no matter what your
age, ability, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief or ethnicity. This
means that you can tell others about this visit, but we won’t.
There is no law about confidentiality. However if a member of staff thought you or someone else was at risk of serious harm this would allow confidentiality to be broken
Will my GP (own Doctor) be informed?
If you do not wish your GP Practice to know, we will respect this and we will not tell them. However if you are started on hormonal contraception it maybe helpful for them to be aware of this.
If someone talks about me?
If any member of staff in the health service discloses information about
you without good reason to another person they will be in serious trouble.
Nurses, Doctors, Receptionists and Counsellors know you have a right to confidentiality. If your privacy is not protected you have a right to complain.
We also cannot guarantee the confidentiality of other people attending these sexual health services and would hope that you would respect their confidentiality.
What about test results?
You will only be contacted if your results are positive, but you choose how to receive these results, e.g. by text, by telephone, by email or any other means that is acceptable to you.
Sharing of information?
The only reason we might have to consider passing on confidential information without your permission, would be to protect you or someone else from very serious harm. This happens very rarely and we would always try to discuss this with you first. Whatever is decided, they will continue to support you throughout.
Personal details will be stored on a client database accessed only by specific Sexual Health Services staff members. Anonymised information will be used for national and regional statistics
your personal information
Your visit here will be as confidential and discreet as possible. Here is some information about choices available to you.
How we identify you
- We prefer to download your name and address details from the main NHS health service (using your CHI number). This saves you time and reduces errors.
- We use a computer system just for sexual health clinics in Scotland, called ‘NaSH’. We will give you a personal reference number (e.g. AN012345678) to use. Please keep this number safe as you may need it to get your results.
How we contact you
- We would like to have your mobile number as this is the quickest way of getting hold of you if there is a problem. If you give us mobile permission we will use this to send you texts informing you of any sexual health test results which are positive and may require treatment, this text will name the infection and how you can access treatment and care. We will also use it to send appointment reminders by text 2 days ahead of any booked visit
- You can choose whether or not we are permitted to write to your GP or other health care staff outside of this clinic. If you have been referred in by your GP we would normally write back to let them know you have attended.
- You can choose how we can contact you, or ask that we never contact you. If you decide on no contact it is entirely up to you to collect and act on any test results.
Keeping things confidential
All sexual infection and HIV tests are sent to the laboratory with or without out your name as indicated on your registration form. For some tests, such as biopsies, we will need to use your full identity. We will let you know if we are taking these kinds of tests and ask for specific permission. Your GP and other health care staff need to be able to see these results in case you need ongoing care elsewhere.
There are very rare times when we do have to break confidentiality, for example if we are asked by a court or police warrant, or we believe you or someone else to be at serious risk of harm if we do not share information with others. We will inform you before sharing information unless prevented so by the court order/warrant.
What Do You Do With My Information?
The information you provide on your registration form will be stored on the national sexual health computer system (NaSH) in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Access to this information is strictly controlled. Key staff working in sexual health services in Scotland can see that a record exists about you. Clinical information can only be accessed by clinical staff with the Dumfries and Galloway Health Board working in sexual health services. If you attend a sexual health service in another board then you will be asked if you want to create a new identity or just use the same record. All access is audited. Only staff directly involved in your care, or investigating complaints or clinical incidents, are allowed to access this information. You have a right to access to any information held about you and we will provide an extract of the electronic record or a copy of any written notes on receipt of a valid written request. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have a right to know who holds personal information about you. This person or organisation is called the data controller, and for this purpose is NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
Other Uses of Your Information
Service information such as the number of users, their ages, and reasons for attending is used to carry out research and audit projects in order to improve services and teach health professionals, to protect or improve public health, and for administration of the services. This information does not identify individuals.
If, at any time, you would like to know more about how we use your information, you can speak to any member of staff or write to Anne Kingstree, Service Administration Manager, Sexual Health D&G, Nithbank, Dumfries. The Health Rights information Scotland website at www.hris.org.uk has a wide range of leaflets about your rights available in different formats