Shake-up planned for city's sexual healthcare

Council leaders are planning a major shake-up in sexual healthcare
Council leaders are planning a major shake-up in sexual healthcare
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Leaders on Sheffield City Council are planning a major shake-up to how sexual health is tackled - moving more services into the city centre to accommodate the ever-growing student population.

A report to be delivered to the authority’s cabinet next week states that there is “a need to re-design a service model to further develop preventative approaches and increase access to services for people across the city.

“The intention is, through the commissioning process, to achieve a citywide service model which reduces duplication and fragmentation across care pathways, making it easier for people to reach and use services. This will impact positively on the patient experience and ensure that services are more visible and accessible.”

The report also states that greater provision will be set up in the city centre to accommodate growing student numbers inside the ring road, as more purpose-built student accommodation is erected.

“There are impacts on young people, a particularly relevant issue in Sheffield due to the higher than average number of students living in the city,” the report states.

Ethnic minority groups will also be a focus of the new service, as “ various cultural differences and norms exist in relation to sexual health”.

It will also focus on access and understanding issues for people with disabilities and learning difficulties, pregnant women with sexually transmitted diseases, and how to provide sexual health advice to members of faith groups in the city.

A range of consultations have already been undertaken, including questionnaires aimed at young people and focus groups with the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Sexual health care is currently commissioned through Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, GP surgeries, pharmacies and voluntary organisations.

The aim is to reduce duplication in services and to provide care closer to where people live, including self-testing kits for sexually transmitted diseases.

The report will be considered by Sheffield City Council’s cabinet at a meeting on Wednesday July 18.