Young people are welcome at Woodcote Medical.
What happens during an Appointment
Our doctors and nurses can give you help and advice about any worries that you have about your health or your body. It is important that you feel comfortable talking to doctors and nurses. It can be awkward and embarrassing talking to adults about your worries, but please remember that we're here to help you stay healthy.
All of our doctors and nurses have up-to-date information on health issues young people might face. Remember:
- You can choose who you want to see - doctor or nurse, male or female
- If you want to bring a friend with you, that's okay
- Write a list before you come to your appointment so that you don't forget things that you want to say
- Be honest about your problems and trust the doctor or nurse so they can help you
- If you don't understand what's been said, don't be scared to ask for a further explanation
- If you are under 16, you have the right to come to at least one appointment without a parent or carer. The doctor or nurse will decide if they think you are ready to make your own decisions about your health. If they don't think you're quite ready, they'll ask you to bring a parent or carer next time.
The service we provide is confidential to all our patients, including under 16s. This means that you can be sure that anything you discuss with any member of the practice - doctor, nurse or receptionist - will remain private.
Nothing will be said to anyone including parents, other family members, care workers or teachers/tutors without your permission.
The only reason why we might have to consider passing on confidential information without your permission, would be to protect you or someone else from very serious harm. We would always try to discuss this with you first.
Services for You
We can help find the right service for you. Below are some services that help young people to stay healthy.
Making sure you're eating the right balance of the right foods is the key to a healthy diet. Here are a few top tips to make sure that you're having a good mix of foods:
- Try and eat at least five portions of fruit and veg every day
- Base your meals on starchy foods like potatoes and brown rice
- If you eat meat every day of the week, try substituting it with oily fish like mackerel, salmon or tuna on a couple of days
- Always go for low-fat cheese, milk and yogurt
- Try and cut down on the number of high fat or high sugar snacks and drinks you have every week.
Drugs and Alcohol
Are you worried about your own drug or alcohol use? Do you know someone who is abusing or misusing drugs or alcohol? If you're concerned about drugs or alcohol, it's good to know the facts about how they can affect you physically and mentally.
Becoming dependent on drugs or drinking too much alcohol can affect your family and friends. It can also have a serious impact on your own physical and mental well-being. Drug and alcohol overdoses can be fatal.
If you think you have a problem or you're worried that a friend or relative has a problem please come in and see one of the doctors at the surgery. You can also contact Croydon Love Your Future or Talk to Frank for further help and advice.
The legal age to have sex is 16 whether you are straight, gay or bisexual. The law is there to protect you from abuse and exploitation and to keep you safe. Whatever your age, you shouldn't have sex until you feel ready. However, you still have the right to confidential advice on sexual health even if you are under 16 years old. We can offer you advice and help on the following sexual health services:
- Contraception: there are many different forms of contraception and it's important to get the right kind of contraception for you. Hormonal contraception (e.g. pill, implant, injection) can protect you from unwanted pregnancies but you will still need to use condoms to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections.
- Emergency contraception: the morning after pill can be taken up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The sooner you take it, the more effective it is. You can get it for free from your practice or you can phone the receptionists and they will tell you where else you can go. The copper coil can also be used as an emergency contraception and is effective up to 5 days (sometimes longer) and can be fitted at the practice. Please contact reception to make an appointment.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): there are lots of different types of STI which can be passed on through any kind of unprotected sexual activity. Symptoms can include itching; burning when you pee; bleeding between periods; discharge and rashes etc. If you notice any changes, get checked out. Some STIs don't always have symptoms (e.g. Chlamydia) so it is worth getting checked out if you're having sex just to be on the safe side. You can see a doctor or nurse here, or if you are under 25, you can get a free postal test kit sent to you. For more information, please click here.
- Pregnancy testing: if your period is a week or more late, it is important that you have a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant we can talk to you about your options and help you to make the right decision for you. You will not be judged. We are here to listen to you and support you.
Everyone struggles to cope with their feelings sometimes. It is important to look after your emotional health as well as your physical health. Here are some top tips for keeping emotionally healthy:
- Accept yourself – no-one’s perfect and everyone has something to offer
- Get involved in new things and meet new people
- Exercise regularly
- Eat well
- Find time to relax e.g. read, listen to music, watch a film
- Talk about how you feel with someone you trust.
Most importantly, ask for help when you need it – don’t struggle on your own. Come and see a doctor or nurse and we will listen to you and support you. Support can also be found online at YoungMinds.
Information for your Parent/Carer
When your child reaches 14 years old they may choose to access health care independently. A lot of young people still want to come to medical appointments with their parents but some prefer to come on their own, especially as they get older.
When your child is aged 16 or 17, they are presumed to be competent for the purposes of consent to treatment and are therefore entitled to the same duty of confidentiality as adults. This means that they are entitled to make decisions about the use and disclosure of information they have provided in confidence (e.g. treatment or counselling that they may be receiving).
The teenage years can be a difficult transitional period By providing young people with a friendly service at Woodcote Medical we are aiming to help your child take responsibility for their health as they move into adulthood. If your child chooses to come to a medical appointment on their own,
- Encourage them to discuss their health concerns with their parent/guardian(s) if they are under 16 years old
- If they are under 16 years old we will agree to see them on their own for at least one appointment to assess their ability to consent to medical treatment. If they are over 16 years old they are presumed to have the maturity and understanding to make decisions on their own.
We will not:
- Break their confidentiality by discussing their problems with anyone unless we have their consent to do so. We may break this confidentiality if there are serious concerns about the young person’s safety or if a young person is refusing treatment for a life threatening condition
- Offer young people treatment that is not in their best interest.
We aim to work together with you to help your child to develop into a happy, healthy adult.
INDEX - Self-Help-Centre
- Age Well
- Carers Direct
- Health A - Z
- I Want To Get Fit
- I Want To Lose Weight
- In Times of Bereavement
- Just Be Croydon
- Live Well
- Local Support Groups
- Menopause Advice
- NHS App
- Pharmacy First
- Pregnancy Care Planner
- Stop Smoking Help
- Winter Health
- Youth Zone
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