Confidentiality when seeing the GP
Auberon felt that GPs, receptionists and pharmacists all respected a patient’s confidentiality:
- Auberon is a student and lives at home with his parents. Ethnic background / nationality: White British.
And when you go to the GP receptionist, does she ever say, "Oh what would you like to see the GP for?" Or anything like that?
She…only if you're a walk-in patient then yes, because you'll be seen by a nurse. So it would mainly be cuts, dressing changes, anything like that. But she wouldn’t go into a huge lot of detail about it. She wouldn’t need it. It's for the nurse to know. But say it was a cut, she would just put, 'Cut on leg' or whatever but that’s about it.
And so you feel comfortable about that?
You don’t feel in any way she's being nosey?
No, no, I don’t feel, because she's not going into too much detail about how you got the cut, or where did the cut from or…you know what I mean? Or was it self-harm, was it not, blah de blah de blah. So I think that should all be down to a nurse because…to ask her, or if a young person wants to tell the nurse, then they should definitely. But I don’t think that the receptionist, are being nosey at all, no.
- Louis is at school and lives with his parents and brother. Ethnic background / nationality: White British.
Do you trust that your appointment is confidential?
Oh yeah, definitely, I'd trust that they won't…they're not just going to go and blab to like the receptionist about what's happened, and trust that it's kind of all confidential.
And if you went on your own to see your… to see your doctor without your mum, do you feel that appointment will be confidential or does it depend?
I think, I think it depends on how serious it is. So maybe they might have to call my parents if it's like really serious, but I don’t know, that’s what I think.
- Aaron is a statistician and lives in a shared house. Ethnic background / nationality: White British.
I think everything was confidential. But yeah, we lived in like a little parish area and you’d see maybe, cos we went to church when we were younger, and you’d see the GP there and maybe ‘Hi there, how are you?’ and then. But just small talk, but yeah nothing would ever be said in front of anyone, not even like family members, obviously because of confidentiality. So yeah, they were really good on that sort of stuff. And even with the receptionist being like my friend’s mum was absolutely fine, no problems at all.
- Emma is a research assistant. She lives in shared accommodation with friends. Ethnic background / nationality: Scottish.
Did you ever worry about confidentiality? That this doctor may have known your parents. Did you ever worry that…?
No, never. Because like it’s just not a GP in, you know, it’s obviously not in the rule book. I think, you know, maybe slightly there was like, “Oh, my God, what if they tell my dad?” you know. Because especially if you’re a teenager or whatever, then - You know, I’ve, I had really bad acne as a teenager and, you know, I was really embarrassed about it and going to see someone was quite a big deal to me.
And, you know, there was maybe an initial like, “Oh, God, you know, like what…?” Because she suggested like, you know, going on the pill. And like in my, in the back of my head it was, “Oh, my God, what if dad finds out about this?” You know, it was like just a completely irrational thought because of course they can’t say anything. And it, like she, obviously they would never. But in, so in that situation you maybe get a slight inkling. But you get over that, I mean especially as you grow up. It’s not a big deal at all. No, I would never, I wouldn’t have any doubt that they would keep something confidential.
- Sophie is at school and works part-time in retail. She lives at home with her parents. Ethnic background / nationality: White British.
Did you feel that you could trust the GP, that what you were saying was confidential?
Yeah and no. I think for a lot of young people it's very unclear about what's confidential and what's not. And whether they use it to tell your parents if you're under sixteen, and that kind of thing. So, to be honest, I wasn’t really worried about it but I think for a lot of young people they do get very confused about whether it's going to be kept confidential or not.
So more information even in surgeries?
Yeah…[talked together] Yeah, literally just some information to tell you whether or not it will be confidential.