Essex Youth Service is an excellent informal education, social and personal development service. They offer free support, counselling, activities, advice, sexual health products and much more to all young people between the ages of 13-19 years old and 13-25 years old for those with special needs. The service also supports young carers from age 8. Youth workers have the skills, knowledge and significant experience to work in schools and other educational establishments.
Your local pharmacist can provide advice on most common health issues. They can suggest and dispense medicines and other health products. There are often pharmacists in supermarkets and many are open late.
Visit www.nhs.uk where you can find the service locator that will help you find the pharmacy nearest to you.
You can see your local pharmacist for a confidential consultation for a wide range of ailments including coughs, colds, sore throats, pain and
temperature and lots more. Any medicine dispensed is free if you do not pay for your prescriptions.
If you've just started college, university or you've moved away from home, it's a good idea to register with a local GP practice. This means you don’t need to go back home if you need medical help.
You will need to register with a GP - to find a GP in your area, use the NHS Choices, Find Services System at:
Your GP can advise, give medicines and information and point you in the right direction if you need other specialist services. Everything said between a GP and a patient is confidential and a private matter between yourself and your GP.
You will need to make an appointment. After 6.30pm weekdays, at weekends and public holidays most services are covered by a GP out-of-hours service. Check with your local surgery.
Here are some facts about confidentiality when going to see your GP/practice nurse:
Young people have the same right to confidentiality as adults. This means that when you visit your GP (or another healthcare professional) they are not allowed to share what you talk about. So basically, they can’t tell your parents/carers unless you give permission. The only time your GP will break this confidentiality is if you or someone else may be at risk of serious harm or abuse. In this instance, they would usually talk through with you the action they would need to take.
There may be times when your GP suggests that it might be helpful for you to discuss your problem with your parents/carers or that they phone and talk to them. They may be suggesting this because they think it would be helpful for you. However, if you are over 16 and you really don’t want your parents/carers to know then you don’t have to tell them and you can request that the GP does the same. If you are under 16 and the GP is worried that you don¹t fully understand the treatment you need, they have the right to contact your parents without your consent but would try and talk this through with you first.
The GP can't share information about your health with other professionals outside of the NHS without your permission (e.g. a social worker or teacher). However, if your GP refers you to another health professional within the NHS, they may ask you if they can share your notes with that person via their shared computer system. You can say no to this and the other health professional will not be able to see all of your notes.
How to get the most out of your GP appointment
We know that some young people don¹t feel comfortable going to their GP, especially about their emotional well-being. We therefore hope that the following information will help you find the support you need.
You can see your GP about a range of issues including:
- Physical health
- Emotional well-being/mental health
issues such as depression, anxiety,
- Sexual health
- Drug and alcohol issues
We know from our recent consultation with young people (the YEAH! Report) that sometimes, going to see a GP can be stressful and at times a frustrating experience. We’ve pulled together a list of your rights which will hopefully help you get the most out of your appointment:
Did you know?
You can ask for a double appointment (20 mins) if you need it (if you have lots to talk about).
You can bring someone with you to your appointment.
You have a choice about which GP you see. You can request a male or female and can ask to see the same GP each time.
If you have a bad experience with a particular GP you have a right to ask for a different GP next time. If there is only one GP in your practice you have a right to move to a different practice.
You don’t have to have students & trainees in the room with you. You should always be asked.
You will get more from your appointment if you are able to be honest with your GP and it might help to plan out what you want to say.
If you are suffering with depression, anxiety etc, your GP should talk through options with you and not just offer medication. Counselling should be offered too.
Want more help?
This is a really useful website which has also been designed by young people for young people. Doc Ready helps you get ready for your GP visit and in particular, if you are going to discuss your emotional well-being. It has lots more information about your rights and confidentiality.
How to make a complaint
If you’re not happy with the service you have received and you want to make a complaint, all GP practices should have a complaints box or procedure.