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Sexual needs of patients discussed

A community nurse helping a disabled teenager satisfy his sexual urges has been cited in a criticism of the lack of national guidelines for dealing with such issues.

Stephanie Courts has told the Royal College of Nursing conference in Cheltenham how she obtained an artificial vagina for the 15-year-old patient.

Ms Courts said her team in Worcestershire "dealt professionally with a potentially embarrassing and legally difficult situation" after consulting the boy's parents.

She told the conference for nurses working with children and young people: "Sexual health guidance is not out there, and this is shocking.

"I feel guidance on this matter should be readily available from sexual-health departments, but I struggled to get help and guidance on how we should meet this boy's needs. It is about girls as well as boys, and no one seemed to be able to give us the advice we needed.

In another case, Nursing Standard magazine has reported how staff at the Helen & Douglas House Hospice in Oxford were persuaded by a patient to help find him a prostitute.

Nick Wallis, 22, who has muscular dystrophy, told The Guardian newspaper how he approached staff in January after realising that he was otherwise unlikely to have sex before he died.

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