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(7 Posts)
Triggerhappy Tue 05-Apr-05 21:49:41

anyone know anything about GUM clinics? my friend is undergoing treatment in one for an STI. today, she remarked that she has been having abdo pains & spotting (she is 11 weeks PG) and the clinic staff arranged a scan at the gyne department to check baby's ok.
when she got there, the doctor turned out to be her new neighbour, she is now mortified in case the GUM clinic told him what she was having treatment for!
as far as i know, GUM clinics keep everything confidential, but in this case, would they have told the gyne doctor the full story, or only about the bleeding & pain?
baby's fine, but shes now paranoid that her neighbour knows her history (STI) and that she will have to move,
i hope to offer her advice, but i'm clueless!

thanks for any help.

melon1 Tue 05-Apr-05 22:16:42

I work at my local hospital in the department that deals with testing specimens for STI's - all GUM clinics are, as you say, confidential - I'm not sure if this applies to other medical staff ie. doctors, but I would have thought so. I'm sure her neighbour knows nothing!

Dinker Tue 05-Apr-05 22:19:38

I work in nursing and can assure you that the Dr won't have been bothered. The Dr would have had her whole history but it won't be shocking or unusual to her as it is her job and she deals with it everyday. As you mentioned everything is confidential. If your friend continues to be upset and has to see the Dr again she can ask to see a different Dr. HTH

bubble99 Tue 05-Apr-05 22:22:03

Triggerhappy. Did she take her notes with her or just a scan request form? If she took her notes then it's probable (and reasonable) that the doctor/neighbour looked at them to see any relevant clinical history.

bubble99 Tue 05-Apr-05 22:31:00

As Dinker says even if the doctor/neighbour know her medical history it won't go any further and she should certainly not think about moving because of it. A few years ago our GP lived near to us, I used to see him regularly out and about in town and walking his dog and he never once shouted "Oi, Bubble, shave your nancy for gawds sake before your next smear!"

Sorry if my attempts at humour are inappropriate, I can understand how your friend feels, but it is a job that doctors do and when they finish work they are civilians like the rest of us. She need not be embarrassed.

HelloMama Tue 05-Apr-05 23:00:21

I'm a GUM nurse and I can guarantee that all GUM staff (and i think all workers who come into contact with the clinic and patients) are bound not only by the normal confidentiality rules that all healthcare staff have to follow, but we are also bound by a specific law relating to veneral disease prevention and treatment (the law refers to it as veneral disease, not me!). So although her doctor / neighbour will know she was referred via GUM, s/he will not be able to mention it to her outside of the hospital environment. Just to clarify as well, the doctor will only have access to her presenting complaint, ie the bleeding and pain, and that she was referred via GUM. The gynae doctor will not be able to access any previous notes or history, although if appropriate they may be told the most recent test results (if your friend agrees to this) as it may help any further treatment she is offered. HTH. CAT me if you have any other questions.

Triggerhappy Wed 06-Apr-05 08:06:10

thank you for your responses, Thank goodness I will have some good news for her.
Happymama, i thought that this WOULD be the case, i'm a nurse, so i know that confidentiality is VERY important, , it's just the fact that this man lives next door, and even if he isn't allowed to discuss her case, she still wouldn't want him to know the specifics of why she was in the GUM clinic, as she is very embarressed & wants to keep it private!

thanks again all on her behalf. x

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