Children and adolescents

The advice in this section is for general guidance only.

If you need more specific advice you can call one of our medico-legal advisers on 0800 716 646. They are available between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and provide an on-call service for medico-legal emergencies or urgent queries 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Alternatively you can fill out our form and an adviser will respond.

Popular resources about Children and adolescents

  • Request for a child's notes
    Request for child

    Are you obliged to disclose a 14-year old's record to his father, who is estranged from his mother? It's a question of parental responsibility and whether the child has capacity to consent himself.

  • Children whose parents are separated
    Children whose parents are separated

    Requests for medical information about a child from either of the parents after they have separated must be handled sensitively and correctly. Here we advise how to avoid the pitfalls.

  • Treating children
    Treating children

    You have the same duty of confidentiality to children and adolescents as you do to adults. This can pose a problem if a 15-year old suffers an ectopic pregnancy and doesn't want you to tell her parents.

  • Confidentiality and children
    Confidentiality and children - The MDU

    Children age 16 and over are deemed capable of consenting to medical treatment, and in the same way are usually considered able to agree to the release of their confidential information.

Show me everything on this topic

Latest updates and advice

  • Government updates national child protection guidance

    GPs already play a vital role in identifying children at risk and should know how to respond if they suspect abuse is taking place, in accordance with local and national guidelines.

  • MDU journal spring 2018

    Injuries from weapons such as knives, guns or even crossbows can raise questions over confidentiality and a doctor's duty to contact the authorities.

See all latest updates