Young People

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The Sexual Health Service in West Sussex is managed by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust.

Our services are free and confidential and available to everyone regardless of where you live, your age, sexual behaviour or orientation.

You can attend any of our clinics which offer a range of services including:

  • sexual health and well being,
  • testing for and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs),
  • contraception and emergency contraception,
  • free condoms provided,
  • HIV/AIDS advice, testing and treatment,
  • psychosexual counselling.

If you'd prefer to see either a male or female doctor, tell the receptionist when you make the appointment.

You don't have to tell the receptionist why you want to see a GP.

Young People and Sexual Health

It is important to take care of your sexual health.

This means protecting yourself against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and any other harm that can happen to your body.

Sexual health is all about making sure you are safe and happy and that you only do what you want to do, when you are ready for it.

If you have sex without a condom, the odds of catching anSTI are quite high.

You can’t tell by looking at someone whether they’ve got an STI. These infections don’t always have any symptoms so you might not even know if you've caught something. You then run the risk of not getting treatment and of passing it on to others.

You only need to have unprotected sex once to get an sexually transmitted infection or pass one on. So if you’ve only had sex once, you could still be infected.

The more sexual partners you have, the more at risk you are. This is true whether you have more than one partner at the same time or at different times.

Read more here

Confidentiality

Consultations between a doctor and patient are confidential. The bottom line is, if you don't want your parents or anyone else to be involved, they don't have to be.
What's discussed during a consultation should go no further, unless you give permission for your doctor to inform someone else. That means the receptionist or practice nurse are also not allowed to divulge that you've been at the practice or what was said or found by the doctor.

Occasionally, your doctor may encourage you to talk to your parents about your problem or ask for permission to contact them. This is because they feel it will help you. They may feel you don't fully understand the treatment you need, or believe that adult help is necessary.

Contraception

Many teenagers see their doctor for the contraceptive pill. If you're under 16 your doctor will only prescribe this - or any other medication - if they think you're mature enough to understand how to use it correctly, and you're aware of the implications and risks involved.

On very rare occasions (if it's felt to be in the best interest of the patient's health and safety) a doctor will breach confidentiality. However, this only happens in exceptional circumstances - for example, if a person with epilepsy is having fits and yet continues to drive or if a doctor has reason to believe a young person is at risk of harm.

  • Speak to your doctor honestly, it'll be easier for them to help you. Never be frightened to tell your doctor something, they won't announce it to everyone and they won't judge you.
  • Take a friend with you. This can give you confidence and sometimes it's easier for a friend to tell your doctor about what you want or what's on your mind.

If you don't understand what your doctor's saying, ask them to explain it more clearly - they won't mind and are happy to help you understand things better

GP Referral Pathways For children & Young People

Youth Emotional Support (YES)

The YES Service offers a voluntary service for young people aged 11-18 years that helps them to identify, acknowledge and work through difficulties they may be facing that are having a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing.
The YES service is aimed at young people aged 11-18 years who are finding the challenges of adolescence too much to manage and are presenting behaviours

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

CAMHS is the specialist assessment and treatment of moderate to severe mental health disorders and associated risks.

Early Help Resource Centre (EHRC)

The EHRC provides a single and consistent point of access to Early Help guidance and decision making for right level of help needed to keep each child safe or achieve change for an early help response. Multi-agency information sharing and decision making ensure appropriate support is accessed at the earliest opportunity.

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