Cambridgeshire's new Integrated Sexual Health and Contraception Service is being launched and will offer people a one stop approach at several venues across the county.
This new integrated service will mean service users accessing sexual health services can have their contraception needs met in the same location. People will no longer have to make separate sexual health and contraception clinic appointments.
The new service, launched on 1 October, will also mean that users will be able to access the full range of services throughout the county with central clinics being run in Wisbech, Cambridge City and Huntingdon. Smaller clinics will create a network of services across the county. There will be one central telephone number to make an appointment at any of the clinics across the county which will not only make it easier but it also means that patients have access to a number of clinics to book an appointment. Easy and quick access to sexual health services is essential to ensure that people can receive immediate treatment and avoid any possible spread of sexual health infections.
Cambridgeshire County Council is responsible for commissioning open access Sexual Health and Contraception Services. It recently awarded the contract to run this new service to Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust (CCS). The general Sexual Health Service currently provided by Cambridge University NHS Hospital Foundation Trust at Addenbrooke's Hospital will transfer to the new Service and be located at new premises in the City. Although users will still see the same staff who will be transferring to CCS as part of the Service. The service will also provide information and support on all aspects of sexual health and HIV, free condoms through the Condom Card scheme, and confidential chlamydia tests to young people through the chlamydia screening programme.
HIV treatment and care services currently provided by CCS NHST Trust and Addenbrookes hospital are not affected and will remain in their current locations.
From 1 October, anyone wishing to contact the Integrated Contraception and Sexual Health Service - which is confidential and open to all - can do so by ringing 0300 300 30 30 or can access further information at http://www.icash.nhs.uk/.
Mandee Worrall, Integrated Contraception and Sexual Health Services (iCASH) Locality Manager, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, said: œWe™re delighted that we can bring together community and hospital sexual health services at single locations across Cambridgeshire for the first time and work with the Terrence Higgins Trust to provide community outreach services. By integrating the services in a number of one stop clinics people can have all their sexual health and contraceptive needs, including STI testing and treatment, met in one place by one clinician wherever possible.
Kilian Bourke, Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council's Health Committee, said: "We're delighted that this new service is launching on the 1 October and will be run by CCS. The new integrated approach and one stop shops means that people no longer have to make separate appointments to receive different treatments for a variety of conditions.
œThe Health Committee has given a strong steer that it wants to prioritise reducing health inequalities, and so it is encouraging that CCS will be working closely with the Terence Higgins Trust, which specialises in outreach. There will be a particular focus on ensuring ease of access to services for young people and other high risk, hard to reach groups who find travel more difficult.