‘Confidential’ means everything you talk to us about is private and kept within Sexual Health in Plymouth (SHiP) services.

We do sometimes share your information with our collaborative partners at The Eddystone Trust and The Zone, who are part of SHiP – to ensure you have access to our full range of services and to offer local support to everyone who needs it.

We are extremely careful to safeguard and protect your privacy when visiting our site or using our services. Due to the sensitive nature of information you may tell us, our privacy mechanisms are stricter than those of University Hospitals Plymouth (UHP).

We have the following additional measures in place:

  • Any sample sent to the laboratory has your unique SHiP ID number (that only SHiP can de-code) in place of your name. This ensures that samples pass through the system anonymously,
  • The medical records we keep about you are in electronic format and kept entirely separate from any other department in the hospital or GPs. The data is kept under conditions of high encryption and user ID validation,
  • We do not share any information with your partner, GP or any other department in the hospital unless you ask us to. If as part of your treatment you need to be referred to a different hospital department, or your GP needs to know about your care, we will ask for your permission first during the consultation (or by your chosen method(s) of communication) before we do so.
  • The paper form filled in on registration is immediately and securely destroyed after use.
  • You can decide on how we contact you and how you may receive your results.

The only situation where we may have to break confidentiality is if we become concerned about your safety or the safety of another person. If we do need to share information with another service for this reason then we will make every attempt to discuss this with you first using a method of communication that you have consented to. These may include SMS text, phone call, voicemail, email or letter.

For more information see – https://transform.england.nhs.uk/information-governance/guidance/hiv-and-sexually-transmitted-infections-stis/.

If you have concerns about confidentiality, please talk to a member of staff who will be able to answer your questions.

We take confidentiality very seriously and all of our staff are trained in managing sensitive situations.

Data Security

We have a legal duty to keep accurate health records, and we have a duty to keep your personal Information confidential and secure in line with Data Protection legislation and regulations.

All the information you tell us, as well as any test results, are stored in digital format on a secure, NHS-approved server accessed through a fully encrypted Electronic Medical Record system.

The information you give us online when you order an STI test kit is encrypted to international standards and approved by University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.

No one outside SHiP has access to these records.

Please see our SHiP privacy statement which gives more information about how we look after your personal information.