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Your rights when dealing with the health service

Your rights when dealing with the health serviceDiscover what your rights are when dealing with doctors, receiving treatment or viewing your medical history.

Dealing with doctors

  • Doctors must listen to your views when making decisions about your health. Your doctor should also always tell you the risks involved in taking any treatment.
  • You have the right to see a doctor on your own.

Medical examinations

  • If you are in care, you should have a medical examination, including a mental health check, after you enter into care. You should then have regular check-ups at least once a year.


  • No matter what your age or situation, information about your health is private and must be kept confidential. This means health professionals cannot share information about your health with parents or carers without your permission. However, confidentiality may be broken if you are in serious danger of being hurt or abused.


  • If you are under 18, health professionals may not need permission from your parents or carers to give you medical treatment. However, if you are 16 or 17, you have the right to make your own decisions about your health. If you are suffering from a mental illness, decisions about your treatment may be made without your permission.

Viewing your records

  • You have the right to see any records held about your health, regardless of your age. However, if your doctor thinks knowing the information may cause you harm, they can refuse to let you see your records. If the information in your records is wrong, you have the right to get it changed.

Related links

For more details about your rights when dealing with the health service, click here