Visiting your GP
For many people a visit to the doctor (also known as a GP or General Practitioner) can make them feel anxious, often because they are not sure what to expect. Here are some helpful points about your rights when you visit your doctor.
- See your Doctor about any health related problem: A GP offers a holistic approach to health care – this means that they are able to help you with your physical, psychological/emotional and social needs.
- Be sure that everything said to your doctor is confidential: this means that everything said during your appointment is kept private between you and your doctor and will not be shared with anyone without your permission. The only time information would be shared without your permission is if you or someone else is at risk of serious harm. This should always be discussed with you first.
- See a Doctor by yourself at any age: the issues that you discuss will be confidential between you and the doctor regardless of how old you are. If you talk to your GP about contraception or sexual health and you are under 16, your GP may encourage you to talk to your parent or carer about these issues to make sure that you have support at home.
- Ask to specifically see a male of female doctor: This may be important to you if you want to discuss a personal problem
- Ask to see your preferred doctor: Once you find a doctor that you like and trust, it is best to stick with them (and always request to see them when you book an appointment) because they will gradually get to know you and this means you will not have to keep repeating your story each time you visit.
- Take a ‘chaperone’ with you into your appointment: It may make you feel more comfortable to bring a friend or family member with you.
- Ask for a double appointment (20 minutes) if you feel 10 minutes is not going to be long enough, or you have more than one medical condition to discuss.
- Be involved in discussions and decisions about your health: Decisions about your healthcare and treatment should be a joint discussion that is agreed by both you and your doctor.
- Consent to your own treatment: If you are over 16 you can make your own decisions about which treatments you do and do not have and this cannot be overruled by your parent or carer. If you are under 16 you can make the same decisions if you are able to understand your treatment options and what would be involved in your chosen treatment.
If you are struggling to talk about your emotions, Doc Ready is a tool to help you prepare what to say when you come to visit the doctor.
Here is a list of Young People Friendly weblinks that you may find helpful to browse…
Mental health and emotional worries:
The Site: your guide to the real world – information about mental health and all sorts of other issues
Hear Our Voice: support for local young people
Kooth: online counselling service in Cornwall
Headmeds: information about common medications used to treat mental health conditions
Mindyourway: mental health conditions explained and information about local services
Smilingmind: mindfulness for young people
Sexual health and Contraception:
Teenage Embarrassing Bodies – information about STIs and all sorts of other health issues
Local Sexual Health & Contraception advice: The Hub @ the Royal Cornwall Hospital
Drugs and Alcohol:
Talk to Frank: confidential drugs advice
The Site: your guide to the real world – information about drugs, alcohol and all sorts of other stuff
Drug and Alcohol Service for young people in Cornwall
Teen weight wise: healthy eating advice
Get Active Cornwall: information about healthy living and local activities for all ages
Local projects for young people:
WILD: Young Parents Project for Young Mothers
Carefree: for young people in or leaving care
Kernow Young Carers: for young people who are taking care of others
Directory of local young people friendly services:
Lists of local Youth Friendly Services including information about the C card
Cornwall Healthy Living Centre: pathways to local youth projects and support services