Doctors in Schools
Cranbourne Secondary College is one of many Victorian Secondary Schools that currently has the Doctors in Secondary Schools program running.
As part of this program, we are fortunate to have Dr Groves and practice nurse Anne Clancy from Headspace with us every Monday of the school term. They will be available to see students in the GP building (on school grounds), where they can provide free, primary health care for services, just as you would expect in the community.
We know that teenagers are the least likely of all age groups to seek health care, but we also know that many health problems that can have consequences into adulthood start at this time of life. This program seeks to address this issue.
You can support the success of this program by talking to your child about the program and encouraging them to access the doctor if they need primary health care.
What will the Doctor do?
The doctor will provide students with the same services as the kind normally provided by doctors in the community, including seeing students about their physical and mental health, and sexual and reproductive health issues. The doctor may also make referrals to other health services as required.
The doctor will bulk bill consultations through Medicare, so there will be no out-of-pocket expenses for this service for your child.
This program is not designed to replace any existing medical arrangements your child may have in place. The Doctor in Secondary School Program can provide a convenient alternative to primary care within schools hours, and encourage health care access to those students without an existing relationship with a doctor.
The program is intended to provide better access to primary care for secondary school students. Therefore, parents, carers, guardians and other family members are not able to use this service.
Accessing the Doctor
Generally, all students can make an appointment to see the doctor. Victorian law is clear on how and when students can consent for medical treatment by a doctor:
- Students who are mature minors can consent to their own medical treatment
- Students who are not mature minors cannot give consent to their own medical treatment.
Mature minors are students under the age of 18 years who are deemed capable of seeking and obtaining health care for their particular medical issue. The doctor will assess if a student is a mature minor with respect to the issue for which they are seeking medical treatment at that appointment.
If the doctor considers your child is a mature minor, they may see them without you. The doctor will often encourage your child to involve you in their care, and doctors understand you are an important source of information and support for your child when it comes to their health. If the doctor thinks your child is not a mature minor, your consent will be sought if the student wishes to progress with the treatment.
More information on consent, confidentiality and medical treatment by a doctor is included in the information sheet, which is on the Doctors in Secondary Schools webpage at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/health/Pages/doctors-secondary-schools.aspxt
When does the Program run?
- The doctor and nurse will be on school grounds every Monday of the school term.
Opening hours are 9.30am-1.30pm and appointments are 30 minutes.
Who is Involved?
Headspace act as a one-stop-shop for young people who need help with:
- mental health
- physical health (including sexual health)
- alcohol and other drugs or
- work and study support
General Practitioner: Dr Groves
Nurse: Anne Clancy
Cranbourne Secondary College GP in School Program Administrator: Melissa Bannister
Dr Groves and Anne Clancy will also work collaboratively with the Student Wellbeing team with regard to referrals and more ongoing support (however importantly, all appointments are confidential which means all discussions will be kept private).
Why is there a Doctor at my School?
The doctor is at the school to help students be as healthy as possible. The doctor is a great place to start if you are is concerned or want help, information, or advice about any health issues including:
- Physical wellbeing
- Healthy eating and exercise
- Sexual health
- Drug and alcohol use
- Asthma management
- Relationship/family issues
- Mental health
How to Book an Appointment
You can come to the wellbeing area (S5) and book an appointment with one of the team members. Kirsty, Katherine, Shannon, Gina or Melissa can assist them.
- You can attend Student Wellbeing before school, recess, lunch or after school.
- You can walk straight in to the doctor’s building (next to S15) at recess or lunch time on a Monday and speak to the nurse Anne.
- You can click on the GP link on Compass – they can complete the form online and send it directly through to the wellbeing team.
Very Important to Know – Confidentiality
- It is important that you know that appointments will be confidential – which means kept private.
- If you book your appointments through a team member in wellbeing, they are not allowed to tell other people in the school (teachers, coordinators, and friends) or parents, that you have booked an appointment to see the doctor.
- They will have to let your teacher know that you will be absent, however they do not need to tell them that you are with the doctor.
- If you want your appointment to be completely private (for example, you do not want anyone in the school to know), you have to drop in to the clinic at recess or lunch time and speak to the nurse – Anne. In this case, your appointment will be scheduled for during recess or lunch time ONLY.
Other Important things to Know!
- If you are 14 years or older, your information is kept private by Medicare. Even if your parents ask for a statement, your visit to the doctor at school will not be shown.
- If you are 13 years or under, your parents can access information about you visiting the doctor, even without your permission.