THE BILL OF RIGHTS FOR SEXUAL HEALTH
When you go for a consultation on contraception, sexually transmitted infections or abortion you’re entitled to a certain level of service, advice and information.
It doesn’t matter whether you get this from your GP, clinic or pharmacist. You have the same rights.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Our Bill of Rights will help you know what you are entitled to receive – and when you should demand better.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO:
1. Confidentiality – your personal details, reason for going, tests and treatment should not be disclosed or passed onto anyone without your permission.
2. Privacy – your personal details should not be talked about in public (like reception), or health checks (like being weighed) shouldn’t take place in a public area. If you’re having an intimate examination you should always be offered a chaperone.
3. Convenience – are you given a choice of times (days, evening, weekends) for your appointment that suits you? Is the service near enough for you to reasonably travel to?
4. Accessibility – You should not be turned away from a Walk-In clinic. You shouldn’t have to wait more than two hours in a Walk-In clinic.
5. Expertise – are the staff appropriately trained? Can the service offer what you need?
6. Choice – are you being given the treatment, service or method you need or is it what someone else prefers to give you? You should not be denied something (a particular brand of pill for example) because it’s too expensive.
7. Alternatives – if your GP or clinic doesn’t offer the service you need you have a right to be given
a) clear information about where to get this service from locally
b) a choice of clinics in your local area
c) written information.
8. Honesty – some GPs refuse to give referrals for an abortion and some pharmacists refuse to dispense emergency contraception. This should be clearly advertised. You should not be turned away without being given clear instructions about where else you can go.
9. Flexibility – services should adapt to your needs. If for example you’re a young person, or you have physical or learning disabilities, need an interpreter or if you’re a sex worker you have the right to a service that’s suitable for you.
10. Emergencies – if you’re in an emergency you should be treated as such. For example, you should never be turned away from a GP or sexual health clinic if you need emergency contraception (even if they don’t normally issue contraception). An STI testing clinic in a hospital must give you an appointment in 48 hours of you asking for one.
And finally… Dignity – you should never be made to feel embarrassed, humiliated, or judged by anyone in the service wherever it is.
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