Improved sexual health services for Nottinghamshire and Nottingham residents

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Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council have commissioned a new county and city-wide integrated sexual health service.

From October 2024, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire residents will benefit from an enhanced Integrated Sexual Health Service funded and commissioned by both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Council’s Public Health services.

The service will be delivered across City and County, led by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in partnership with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust and supported by a remote sexual health service provider, Preventx.

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The newly awarded single city and county-wide contract replaces the current arrangements for sexual health services which are delivered through several contracts. The improved service will ensure that everyone has access to the same high quality ‘one stop shop’ for sexual health services, regardless of where they live.

Cllr Scott Carlton, Cabinet Member for Communities & Public Health, Nottinghamshire County CouncilCllr Scott Carlton, Cabinet Member for Communities & Public Health, Nottinghamshire County Council
Cllr Scott Carlton, Cabinet Member for Communities & Public Health, Nottinghamshire County Council

The free and confidential service will expand its health promotion offer and targeted outreach support to the most vulnerable and at greater risk across the City and County. It increases choice for residents by keeping face-to-face and walk-in appointments, whilst making the most of new technology to offer online services to support those who prefer a remote option. The service will also provide a single website as a reliable source of information so that residents can make informed choices about their sexual health and know how to access the services they need.

The service offer includes:

  • better access to trusted information on sexual and reproductive health
  • increased choice and easier access to services for local people
  • services tailored to meet needs of people at greater risk of poor health outcomes
  • services which will reach out to support our diverse communities and
  • a better experience of finding relevant services that are more streamlined and joined-up across the system, including GPs, pharmacies, sexual health, and other healthcare services.

Councillor Scott Carlton, Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health at Nottinghamshire County Council said:

“Good sexual health is an important aspect of health and wellbeing, and improving sexual health outcomes remains a public health priority. As part of our joint commitment to addressing health inequalities, the Integrated Sexual Health Service will focus on ensuring all residents, including those most at risk of sexual ill-health, have access to services that continue to deliver the very best outcomes for them.”

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Councillor Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care & Health at Nottingham City Council, adds:

“I am delighted that the new service is launching to provide even better sexual healthcare and access for local people in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County. Sexual health is an important part of overall health at all ages. The service will focus on prevention and education to make it easier for people, especially those at higher risk of poor sexual health outcomes, to get the information and support they need on their sexual and reproductive health.”

Nottingham University Hospitals and Sherwood Forest Hospitals commented:

“Nottingham University Hospitals and Sherwood Forest Hospitals are delighted that they have been awarded the contract for the Integrated Sexual Health Service for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We look forward to working collaboratively to develop the current sexual health service into an even better one for all our citizens. There will be a single brand, a new website, online testing and clinic-based services, with health promotion and outreach across the whole City and County. This will make accessing care easier. There are a lot of good things to come!”

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Local authorities have a mandatory duty to commission comprehensive sexual health services for their residents.

The new Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Sexual Health Service contract will initially run for three years from October 2024, with an option to extend the contract on two occasions if required, each for a period of two years, to give a total contract length of seven years.

The aim of the integrated service is to improve the sexual health of the citizens of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire by delivering a range of open access, accessible, high-quality, responsive, cost-effective, confidential services.

The Principles and Ambitions which the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Sexual Health Service will work towards:

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Principle 1: Improve sexual health outcomes

Provides care, support and advice which is free, open access, confidential and enables people to access services in the way that is most effective for them and improves their health and wellbeing.

Principle 2: Address health inequalities

Improves sexual health outcomes, prioritising areas, and people at high risk of poor sexual health. Services need to reduce barriers to access by emphasising confidentiality, empathy, and a non-judgmental approach.

Principle 3: Focus on outcomes

Can identify and evaluate the health outcomes it achieves and for whom, and continuously learn and improve. The NNISHS can demonstrate sexual health outcomes relating to prevention and education as well as diagnosis and treatment.

Principle 4: Prioritise prevention

Proactively promotes good sexual health and positive relationships, focusing on those most at risk of poor sexual health and enabling health behaviour change.

Principle 5: Quality and value

Delivers services that are effective, safe, responsive, innovative, evidence-based and provide a good return on investment.

Principle 6: System leadership

Leads development and maintenance of collaborative partnerships and training/ development of the workforce to drive improvement in sexual health provision and outcomes.

Principle 7: Involve people

Places people at the centre of the care that is provided, and in co-designing, co-producing, and evaluating the service. Commissioners, providers, and community groups work together to establish and embed co-production processes.

Principle 8: Collaboration

Works with partner agencies to identify and respond to changing community and population needs and emerging issues to improve citizen pathways and experiences.