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SH & seeing doctors about other problems

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru

Hoping that someone on here may have had experience of this.

My niece (almost 18) has had problems with SH, but atm she seems to be dealing with it very well on her own. Not perfect yet, but step by step getting there. She's had all sorts of counselling etc suggested to her, but atm she doesn't feel ready for it (something i completely understand as I know the feeling). However because of this she is having terrible trouble with doctors, to the point where she won't go to them for problems unrelated to SH for fear that the SH conversation will come up.

It's the same doctors that her family goes to, and because of the fact that her father is close friends with many of the doctors, they've voiced their concerns about SH which means if my niece goes about something unrelated, the doctor brings up SH anyway. She went for a physio problem with her shoulder and ended up being quizzed about SH. The doctors have also put on her notes stuff that her step-mum(with no legal rights over her) has said which isn't entirely true.

I am almost 100% sure that these doctors are acting unprofessionally, and am i also right in thinking that if she goes to the doctors she should be able to not have a conversation about SH and not have it count against her?

And one final question- if she changes doctors, is it possible for her to get them to not request her notes from her previous doctors? She really feels like she is marked down by these partially incorrect SH notes and would rather start afresh.

Hope someone can help!

Thanks guys


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If she changes doctors then the notes will be transferred as a matter of course as part of the patient transfer. She can request to see her notes under the freedom of information act, and then request that any false details are removed. I guess one way would be for her to do that at her current surgery and then change doctors.

    However, it is the role of the GP to treat the patient as a whole and monitor on going conditions/issues so it is entirely reasonable and right that her GP asks about her self harm when she goes in. That said, the main reason for the appointment should also be dealt with.

    It's worth being aware that even if she changed surgery, if she self harms then will stay on her notes in some form or other and the new GP will be duty bound to take an interest in it.

    I don't quite understand what you mean about having something 'count against her' though. Medical records aren't some kind of score card system. You don't get good things and bad things on there, you get records of medical issues you have been had or been linked to. It's not something that gives you good marks or 'marks you down'. There is absolutely nothing about mental health problems or self harm that makes you a less good person or lower graded in anyway and it's important for both you and her to be aware of that. Using such language isn't going to help anyone.

    Assuming her GP is a reasonable person her best bet is to probably stick with where she is and be up front about things and move the consultation on. She's a teenager, they're a notorious age group for having transient mental health or self harm problems (I'm not saying they don't also have long term ones too) and any half competent GP will be looking for the episode to have passed.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I just think that she really doesn't have any confidence that her current doctor will keep patient confidentiality, or respect her if she says "I don't want to talk about the SH". She seems to feel like when she says that to her current doctor, he flags it as she's not dealing with it at all (which she is.)

    I have tried to change these opinions she has and to bolster her. That's why I'm asking now. With the "marked against her" comment, that's something she has said herself. She wants to put it behind her and move on, but I think she's scared that the doctors won't let her forget (which is also partly the fault of one of the teachers at school, who hasn't let her forget/move on and has interfered in her life because of it, which i think hasn't helped the problem.)

    Thanks for your reply, it was helpful
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be honest, her besy chance of putting it behind her, if that's the phrase she wants to use is to be mature, talk to them about it and provide a basis from which to draw a line under the episode. It would be a pretty poor doctor who ignored a potential problem completely just because someone didn't want to talk about it.
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