NHS case study: enabling key “at risk” patients to access sexual health services

NHS organisation involved: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (Burrell Street Sexual Health Centre)

Each month, just three sexual health clinics in Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) diagnose 400 cases of chlamydia, 250 cases of gonorrhoea, 100 of trichomoniasis, 50 of syphilis, and five cases of HIV.

Many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) do not cause symptoms; thus, most are unwittingly passed on. Improving connections from diagnosis to treatment for people with a new STI diagnosis is key, so that they can take action to protect their health and reduce the risk of onward transmission.

SXT supports access to sexual health and reproductive services using web, mobile, and SMS. It is anonymous, quick, and simple to use.

The Accelerator has supported SXT with navigation, access to training, introductions and support. Within GSTT, SXT now provides four services to help tackle the incidence of STIs and reduce transmission:

  • Signposting, so that patients can find the right service for them, in the right place, and at the right time.
  • An anonymous partner notification tool to support patients to tell sexual contacts of their STI risk, and then help these individuals to find an appropriate local service.
  • A decision support tool which helps women to estimate their pregnancy risk, understand emergency contraception options, and identify local providers where necessary.
  • A booking module for the provision of targeted appointments for partners of patients with HIV, and for patients who take an HIV test at home and have a reactive result.

With the above services, the whole patient journey from diagnosis through to treatment and partner risk reduction is connected, making it simpler and more effective to manage the public health challenge of sexually transmitted infections.

Since launching the booking module at Burrell Street Sexual Health clinic, the number of sexual contacts being seen and treated increased by 36% in just two weeks; enabling this clinic to surpass national targets.

Learn more about SXT www.sxt.org.uk