Consent, privacy and confidentiality: Babies, children and young people’s experience of healthcare
National Guideline Alliance (UK)
NICE Evidence Reviews Collection, August 2021
Babies, children and young people accessing healthcare have the right to consent to treatment, and rights to privacy and confidentiality. These rights are outlined both in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the NHS Constitution, and this review did not aim to assess the validity of these rights.
The provision of consent is covered by professional frameworks and international human rights laws, and young people over 16 have the right to consent to their own treatment. Those under the age of 16 can consent if they have the competence to do so, otherwise someone with parental responsibility can consent on their behalf.
The right to privacy includes privacy and dignity during discussions, examination, treatment and care, and the right to confidentiality includes the restricted use and sharing of personal and identifiable data and access to health records.
The aim of this review was to determine how children and young people, and the parents or carers of babies and young children prefer discussions about their privacy and confidentiality to be addressed by healthcare services and healthcare providers, as well as their views and preferences on discussions about consent…