New sexual and reproductive health service to launch
Residents in Liverpool will be able to access a new integrated sexual and reproductive health service from Monday (1 November)which has been developed following a consultation with residents.
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LUHFT) has been awarded a contract by Liverpool City Council to deliver the inclusive service, that covers all aspects of sexual and reproductive health care including contraception, comprehensive testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Bringing together existing services, including Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Brook – axess will provide a holistic, non-judgemental, welcoming and easily accessible service which is set to become one of the largest providers of sexual health services in the UK.
axess will offer extensive digital services, including online booking, remote consultations and the ordering of contraception, testing and treatment by post. There will be dedicated clinics for LGBTIQ+ and young people and experienced sexual health outreach teams will deliver a patient-focused service offering clinical delivery in addition to education and awareness.
The axess Liverpool service will also work closely with GPs, pharmacies and schools, providing training and support to ensure high quality sexual health services are available across the city.
axess integrates three different sexual health services in Liverpool to combine knowledge and expertise and simplify the patient journey. The teams in the central Liverpool hub and other centres in the north and south of the city will work to provide the skills to build the capacity and understanding in individuals and communities that will enable them to take control of their sexual health and ultimately recognise that sexual health matters.
Furthermore, axess now have an increased ability to raise public awareness of the importance of positive sexual and emotional relationships as well as highlighting the risks of unsafe sex.
Councillor Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said: “This is an exciting change to our sexual and reproductive health service provision. The new integrated offer will allow our residents to have all their contraceptive and STI-related needs met in one place and in one appointment which will undoubtedly improve the patient journey and experience.”
Advanced public health practitioner and current chair of English HIV and Sexual Health Commissioners’ Group James Woolgar said: “There will be an excellent online sexual health offer, making this a more modern and convenient service. The plan to increase the provision offered via pharmacies further means that care is far more accessible city-wide. Coupled with a robust education programme and focused campaign work, this new offer has the potential to help improve knowledge and awareness and assist our residents in looking after their own sexual and reproductive health and reduce health inequalities”.
Dr Martyn Wood, lead consultant for Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust regional sexual health services, said: “The new integrated service is an exciting time for sexual health services in Liverpool with the integration of three existing teams to form one of the largest sexual health services in the country.
“We will be providing world class and innovative sexual health care from a brand new state-of-the art clinic with the extension of sexual health services into many more local pharmacies , combined with an extensive postal testing service. This brings sexual health care closer to home for all Liverpool residents.”