While sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) like chlamydia, gonorrhoea and HIV continue to increase nationwide, Basildon and Thurrock in Essex has seen an increase bigger than the national average.
The Young Person's Advisory Services (YPAS) at the South West Essex Primary Care Trust (SWEPCT) has been shortlisted for the NiP sexual health award for its OUT2U clinic, which was set up to address this problem.
People are often reluctant to enquire and access sexual health services because of the stigma attached to HIV and STIs. In order to meet the needs of young people it was recognised that wider and more appropriate access to these services was required.
The "one stop shop" was set up after a lack of sexual health services was identified in the Basildon locality. YPAS OUT2U is an outreach service for 13–24-year-olds offering personalised assessment, diagnosis, treatment and referral as well as health promotion and support.
Chris Willis, Sexual Health Improvement Lead at SWEPCT states that the service will reduce waiting times for genito-urinary clinics (GUM) locally and on a national level will contribute to a reduction in unintended teenage conceptions.
This "spoke" service was positioned near to secondary schools and colleges to minimise disruption to young people's daily activities and to promote confidence due to a lesser need for transport or parent involvement.
The team consists of specialists in sexual health, including two senior nurses, a health adviser, a clinical support worker and a receptionist.
To date the clinic has seen a steady increase in the number of attendances, with the majority using the service to get an STI screen (94%).
A client satisfaction survey for the first quarter shows 100% satisfaction. As one 14-year-old female put it, the clinic has been "very helpful, and made me feel at ease."
The Nursing in Practice Awards 2008 rewards best practice in a variety of clinical areas, and are designed to recognise excellence and innovation in the primary care setting.
The rise in the incidence of STI's requires sexual health practitioners to look at alternative options for the provision of STI screening services. Rapid point of care testing offers greater flexibility, improved turnaround times, and provides opportunities for improved patient access to testing.Inverness Medical is a global leader in rapid diagnostic products with many trusted brands such as Clearview and Determine.