Sexual health services review under way

AN ambitious project has begun with the aim of improving the sexual health of the people of Colchester in the face of rising demand for services.Colchester Primary Care Trust (PCT) has embarked on a comprehensive review of sexual health services in the borough.

AN ambitious project has begun with the aim of improving the sexual health of the people of Colchester in the face of rising demand for services.

Colchester Primary Care Trust (PCT) has embarked on a comprehensive review of sexual health services in the borough.

Donna Telfer, the PCT's sexual health lead, said its twin objectives were to identify gaps in service provision and to increase co-ordination between the different agencies involved in sexual health.

In conjunction with its Tendring counterpart, Colchester PCT is already committed to setting up the new post of sexual health co-ordinator to work across both areas.


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Ms Telfer said: "The PCT recognises the worrying trends in sexual health and has made sexual health a specific priority area for further action.

"The review is being led by Dr Shams Syed, a specialist registrar in public health medicine, and will be extremely comprehensive.

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"It's due to be completed at the end of the year and its findings will be used to make recommendations for service developments."

National concerns about sexual health, including a rise in sexually transmitted infections (STIs), a rise in the incidence of HIV infections and high unintended pregnancy rates, were mirrored in the Colchester area, she added.

Colchester PCT is already involved in a number of initiatives to improve sexual health. These include:

n providing funds for a teenage pregnancy link worker to help pregnant teenagers and young mothers and fathers access the services they need;

n joint planning with Tendring PCT and the genito-urinary medicine department at Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust in order to respond positively to increased demand;

n providing funds for a sexual health promotion co-ordinator at Colchester Gay Switchboard.

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