People in Cornwall will soon benefit from more availability of sexual health clinics and an online service following an announcement that Brook and their online partner SH:24 will provide sexual health services in Cornwall from December 2019.
The changes to the service have been brought about following feedback from a Cornwall Council consultation and information gathered in Cornwall’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
The findings of the consultation showed that the majority of people want to access a specialist, all age, integrated sexual health and contraceptive service for their sexual health needs.
People fed back that the most common barrier preventing them from using sexual health services was if they were “hard to get to”. Other common perceived barriers were “fears of seeing someone you know” and “embarrassment”.
They also wanted a mix of bookable and drop in appointments at a clinic which is accessible to them. In particular young people preferred to access an online service and a specialist young people’s contraceptive and sexual health service.
All of this feedback was taken into account when commissioning the new service.
Cornwall Council’s Deputy Director for Public Health, Steve Brown said: “It’s important that people have access to good quality sexual health and wellbeing services. Poor sexual health leads to inequality, and can have negative impacts on physical, emotional and social health. People will also be able to use an online testing service, making it much easier for people in Cornwall to access sexual health services”
He added: “Brook is already an established and trusted provider for young people’s sexual health services in Cornwall and SH:24 is an award-winning supplier of digital sexual health and reproductive services. The procurement process was open, honest and transparent and was run in accordance with the contract procedure rules.”
Louise Carrington, Director of Operations for Brook, said: “Residents remain at the heart of our vision for this innovative model and we are committed to ensuring a seamless transition between services for both users, and staff.
“We are really looking forward to working with residents, local partners and commissioners, to deliver a holistic service that meets the individual sexual health needs of those in the community.”
The full report of the consultation results is available online at: www.cornwall.gov.uk/sexualhealth