Residents in Harrow, Brent and Ealing can now access new integrated sexual and reproductive health services.
London North West Healthcare NHS Trust has been awarded a five year contract to deliver services across the three boroughs, including sex education, contraception, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and testing for HIV.
The Trust was awarded the contract as part of the London Sexual Health Transformation Programme (LSHTP), a London wide programme to transform sexual health services and improve access and outcomes for residents.
As the lead provider in North West London, London North West Healthcare will develop a new local sexual health system with a strong focus on partnership working with GPs, pharmacists and the voluntary sector. The Trust will also forge strong links with key services, including abortion services, gynaecology, midwifery, urology, children and young people’s services and voluntary groups, as well as schools and colleges.
Voluntary sector organisations, such as Brook, the Terrence Higgins Trust, Spectra and Naz will also work with the Trust to provide improved prevention in the community for groups with higher sexual health needs, including young people, gay and bisexual men and minority ethnic groups.
Dr Gary Brook, Clinical Lead for Genitourinary Medicine (GUM)/HIV at the Trust said: “This new service takes a system-wide approach to ensuring people are seen in the right place, avoiding unnecessary referrals or people dropping out of the system.
“We will provide services where there is greatest need, including high rates of sexually transmitted infections, teenage pregnancy and deprivation. Our new services will also be easier to access with better transport links and extended opening hours, including evenings and weekends.”
Dr Naomi Hampton, Clinical Lead for Sexual and Reproductive Health Services at the Trust said: “We are really looking forward to working with our colleagues in primary and secondary care and the education and voluntary sectors to develop a network of service provision which meets the needs of our local population and using technology to help direct people to the right care at the right time.”
Dr Andrew Howe, Director of Public Health, Harrow Council said: “Similar to other London councils, Harrow has poorer sexual health outcomes than other parts of the country. These issues include late diagnosis of HIV and high rates of sexually transmitted infections. We are committed to tackling inequality through continued improvements in services by supporting people to keep healthy and safe. The partnership between LNWHT, GPs, Pharmacies, The Terrence Higgins Trust, NAZ Project London and Spectra to provide a new integrated sexual health service and system will ensure that residents in the borough receive prompt information, support and care at the right place to improve health.”
Cllr Krupesh Hirani, Lead Member for Community Wellbeing at Brent Council, said: “This new integrated sexual health service is a great achievement and an example of what can be accomplished when London Councils work together.
“In Brent, we are committed to ensuring that our residents are provided with the best healthcare. This includes a sexual health service which is convenient and accessible where advice and quality healthcare is readily available.”
Councillor Hitesh Tailor, Ealing Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Services said: “Ealing, along with its neighbouring boroughs, recognises the importance of good sexual and reproductive health services in improving overall public health, reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, improving access to sex education, advice and contraception.
“The new integrated sexual health service across Ealing, Harrow and Brent will provide extended opening hours and greater accessibility to services, ensuring local residents can receive prompt information and care, testing and treatment. Integrating services will help to deliver better standards of care and provide joined-up treatment and advice.
“The London-wide transformation programme for sexual and reproductive health is a unique achievement and shows the value of London boroughs working together to respond to public health challenges and improve services.”