6th August 2021
So, what's really new here? 10 facts about your new YorSexualHealth...
1. Better and easier for you
One of the biggest changes to sexual health services in North Yorkshire and York is that people will no longer have to attend two different services in order to have both their sexual health (STI testing and treatment) and contraceptive needs met. All our new clinics now offer ‘integrated’ services which basically means that service users can have the majority of their sexual health care provided by one appropriately trained health professional in one place. This reduces the need for you to travel or take time out of your day to attend services and there is now just one single phone number for you to book appointments or get advice.
2. Easier access to clinics and services
Access to sexual health care is now far easier. For residents of North Yorkshire, no one will need to travel more than 30 miles from their home to attend a clinic. For young people in full- time education, who often have to catch a school bus each day, there is support available through our Specialist Clinical Outreach Team and the Healthy Child Programme Team, to enable students to easily and rapidly receive the care they need during school hours. We are also working closely with local GPs and pharmacies to maximise the choices available, for example with regards to accessing emergency contraception.
3. New 'virtual' services
For people who would prefer not to attend a clinic, we are looking at providing a range of ‘virtual’ sexual health services. Consultations will be able to be undertaken by phone with testing kits or treatments sent through the post, reducing the inconvenience or embarrassment that can often be associated with attending clinics in person. This service won’t suit everyone, and some tests and procedures will always require people to see a nurse or doctor face-to-face, but many straight forward elements of care will be able to be provided virtually.
4. Counselling for sexual health issues
Appointments for sexual health counselling services are now provided in all our YorSexualHealth Centres in York, Northallerton, Harrogate, Scarborough and Selby.
5. Working with GPs to provide better sexual health care for everyone
A significant change in the approach to sexual health care involves new partnership working with local GPs. Many of the new clinics are located in GP surgeries, which in time should contribute to a reduction in the stigma often associated with attending a sexual health clinic. Some GPs will also be able to offer additional sexual health services.
6. More HIV and STI testing
The new service makes it far easier for people to get tested for STIs and HIV. More Point of Care tests for HIV (which is a quick finger prick of blood test with results back in 20 minutes) are available through targeted community outreach work, along with testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea for those most at risk.
7. Easy access to free condoms
We are making it much easier to access free condoms. Condoms will be available from a large range of clinical and young people’s services, with the option to request them by phone or online, and receive them through the post. A “C-card” scheme will be introduced to enable people to register for free condoms and then collect them from a range of local outlets.
8. More HIV Support
Our new ‘Positive Support’ service will give face-to-face support and counselling for those affected by HIV in many locations across the county, as well as offering peer support and information sessions for small groups. A choice of venue, along with telephone and Skype opportunities, will make it much easier for individuals to find the right kind of support needed.
9. Reaching people online
Our new integrated sexual health service has a much stronger focus on the use of technology, social media and innovation. The YorSexualHealth website has been upgraded, following engagement with local people, and developments will be on going so that the public and professional groups can find up-to-date information and resources to support good sexual health. The use of social media is increasing, and along with the latest digital engagement approaches, it will be possible to reach and engage with more people, in a way that is convenient and accessible for all.
10. All sexual health needs covered
The key overall difference between the new integrated sexual health service and what was previously commissioned is that there will be just one main provider responsible for the development and delivery of all aspects of sexual health care and support – us! This will ensure that whatever help is required for all residents will be of the same high standard of care, with far more choice than there has been previously.
We would love to know what you think of the new service, and are happy to take onboard your feedback and suggestions for how we can make further improvements. Please drop us a line at email@example.com< Back to all news stories