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PHE sets up e-sexual and reproductive healthcare framework



Public Health England has launched an e-sexual and reproductive healthcare framework in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

The national framework is available to any NHS trust or NHS foundation trust in England and supports local commissioning and service development during the coronavirus outbreak. The aim is to make it easier for healthcare providers to commission online sexual health services.

The online services include HIV and STI self-sampling and treatment, emergency hormonal contraception, and routine contraception. Healthcare providers will have access to the specified services with pre-agreed terms and conditions and pricing.

Three companies, Brook, Preventx, and SH:24, have been appointed to provide the services outlined in the new framework. Brook will offer contraception and emergency contraception via the Brook Digital Clinic. Preventx will offer self-sampling for HIV and STIs; contraception; and emergency contraception via SH:UK and SH:24 will offer self-sampling for HIV and STIs; contraception; and emergency contraception via SH:24.

For all STI testing, providers will conduct online assessments to determine what type of STI tests are required, fulfil orders of sampling kits and process returned samples. Providers will undertake screening for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

For contraception requirements, providers will offer remote prescribing of selected routine contraception or emergency hormonal contraception, including dispensing and supplying medication via the post or collection from a pharmacy.

Users of the new framework can also select several optional services for their patients, including chlamydia self-sampling, remote prescribing of medication for the treatment of chlamydia, as well as the provision of condoms, bridging methods of contraception and pregnancy tests.

More details about the framework and how to do sign up can be found in PHE’s nation framework for e-sexual health and reproductive healthcare user guide.

A PHE report released last month showed gonorrhoea cases rose 26% between 2018 and 2019.