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Your confidentiality

At the Wolverton Centre we will provide a confidential service to all our service users irrespective of age, race or sexual orientation. Confidentiality is the right of an individual to have personal, identifiable medical information kept private.

All information about you and your sexual health is protected by law under the NHS Trusts and Primary Care Trusts (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) Directions 2000 and The NHS (Venereal Diseases) Regulations 1974.

Our computer system is stand alone with its own server and not connected to the hospital or NHS IT systems.  All IT and data systems comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and NHS confidentiality code of practice. Our patient notes are separate from those in the hospital and are kept strictly within the Wolverton Centre.

We seek permission from you at registration about how we may communicate with you – to receive your results for example (usually by mobile or text message). We do not routinely share information with your GP. If your GP refers you to us with a letter we would out of courtesy reply with a brief summary – but only if you had given your permission first. Very rarely we may contact your GP (if you have given us their details) if you are found to have a serious condition which needs treatment and we have been unable to contact you by phone or letter after multiple attempts.  This is why it is important to give us a reliable contact number. This decision is taken by the consultant responsible for your care after discussion with appropriate clinical staff and consideration of all the options and in the end deemed to be in your best interest.

For patients attending the specialised sexual health clinics with more complex problems, we would normally write to your GP, as management of your condition usually requires some input from your GP e.g. prescribing medication. However we would always seek your permission first and you also have the option of receiving a copy of the letter.

For HIV positive patients attending the specialised HIV services involving your GP in your care is encouraged, as the clinic is unable to meet all your health needs fully. However the consultant looking after you always discusses this with you personally. It is appreciated that for most patients a period of time and adjustment is required before feeling able to disclose your HIV status to your GP.  It is also very important to be registered with the right GP for you – someone you feel comfortable talking with. The clinic will be able to help you find a suitable GP.

One situation in which your patient information may enter the main NHS database would be if you were admitted as an inpatient to Kingston Hospital with an illness related to your visit to the Wolverton Centre.  The typical situation where this would occur would be if you are being treated at the Wolverton Centre for HIV and you fall ill requiring hospital admission.

If you are a young person, you have a right to confidentiality. In certain circumstances the professional people you talk to might need to speak to another doctor or social worker, if they are worried about your safety.  They will discuss this with you before any sharing of information takes place so that you have the chance to raise concerns. They must take any concerns you have seriously.

Consent to medical examination

Before embarking on any examination or screening tests we will gain your agreement to do so.

If you are under the age of 16 years you can consent to medical examination, investigation and treatment if you have sufficient maturity and judgement to enable you to understand what is proposed and its implication.  The more serious the medical procedure proposed, the better the grasp of the implications is required.

If you are considered not capable of consenting, consent would be required from one parent or a carer with parental responsibility. The consultation itself can still however remain confidential.