If you have Parental Responsibility you are able to be involved in your child’s health
Simple, eh? Nice and black and white.
Unless you have a court order that says you aren’t allowed to contact your child’s doctor, etc. if you have Parental Responsibility you can discuss your child’s medical health without the permission of other holders of PR.
This is backed up in court if you say something like `The other parent won’t tell me about my child’s medical condition’ – you’ll be told you have PR and to go away and sort it out.
So off you trot…and hit a brick wall.
If you know the surgery you’re child is registered at the following phrases may be used:
- `You need a court order’.
- `I will check with the doctor and he/she will decide’.
- `You need the written permission of the `main parent’.
- `We can’t talk to you’.
- `You need to speak to your solicitor’.
What do these phrases tell you? The honest answer…that whoever is saying them doesn’t know about PR or the Children Act. Or they’re acting without legal basis.
Parental Responsibility is meaningless to most people
It’s something you know about for obvious reasons…but the practice manager or receptionist sure as hell won’t. If you are in a particularly hostile situation they may well know about your `abusive and controlling nature‘ which means the children and your ex partner would be endangered if you’re given any information…
If you don’t know what surgery your children are in you have an extra hurdle: Namely, finding it.
In this case contact the Community Health NHS Trust and speak to the Caldicott Guardian who, knowing all about PR, Gillick Competency, court orders and the like will be able to furnish you with the information you desire.
The maze that is Parental Responsibility
Not as easy as that, sorry. Call the Community Health NHS Trust and as well as the `reasons’ you can’t be given the information you seek you may be met with incomprehension. And/or referred to the Clinical Commissioning Group for the area (CCGs are organisations that took over some of the responsibilities of the now-defunct Primary Care Trusts – in England…in Wales we have Local Health Boards). Chances are when you speak to the CCG you’ll be referred…to the Community Health NHS Trust you’ve just spoken to.
So round and round you go.
Unfair? Yes. Frustrating? Definitely.
How do you solve a problem like Parental Responsibility?
Easy answer. Don’t give up. Don’t expect anyone to know the law – even if they should. Give up and the problem is solved – namely you go away and stop bothering them.
Speak to the bloke down the pub and he’ll tell you this is why Parental Responsibility isn’t worth anything. It’s because he’s got annoyed and give up.