What are sexual health services?
Sexual health or genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics offer a range of services, including: testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) advice and information about sexual health, free condoms, contraception – including emergency contraception, such as the morning after pill.
If you need sexual health advice or help finding a clinic, please click here to be taken to the Healthy Surrey wesbite.
Sexual health services in Surrey
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) provide a range of HIV and sexual health services across London and Surrey.
Sexual health services
CNWL have three main clinics based across the county:
Buryfields Sexual Health Clinic (GUM, contraception and HIV services) – 61 Lawn Road, Guildford GU2 4AX Phone: 01483 783 340
Earnsdale Sexual Health Clinic (GUM, contraception and HIV services) – 2 Whitepost Hill, Redhill RH1 6BD Phone: 01737 231 350
Woking Sexual Health Clinic (GUM and contraception services) – Woking Community Hospital, 3 Heathside Road, Woking GU22 7HS Phone: 01483 714 160
HIV services are based in Buryfields Sexual Health Clinic, Guildford and a smaller service at Earnsdale Sexual Health Clinic, Redhill. CNWL also have a HIV information line: 0203 317 5100
For more information please:
- Refer: to the Healthy Surrey website
- Phone: CNWL on 020 3317 5252 (staffed Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit: sexualhealth.cnwl.nhs.uk
Current action Healthwatch Surrey is taking to drive improvements in access to HIV and sexual health services
Healthwatch Surrey is completely independent of the NHS and Surrey County Council, and exists to ensure that the voice of the public is heard in the way NHS and social care services are planned and delivered. We are a statutory body with certain legal powers.
Update to our work on sexual health and HIV services
Healthwatch Surrey has continued to hear concerns from the public around sexual health services, and has continued to share these with commissioners and the provider, CNWL. With the help of our volunteer Liz Sawyer, we attend meetings where the contract is reviewed, and report on our concerns.
In October 2018 we visited Buryfields clinic and spoke to patients about their experiences. Our report can be found here: Public Report Buryfields 2018
Our concerns fall into three main areas:
- We remain concerned about patients’ access to services and the continued difficulties they are facing in booking appointments.
- We have concerns about the significance of lower than predicted take up of services, particularly in light of concerns about implementation of the communications plan.
- We have concerns about whether engagement with those most at risk and vulnerable has been sufficiently robust in the run up to extension of the contract.
One of our key areas where we’ve been working with commissioners to amplify local voices is by asking questions about whether the public, and in particular people most at risk of health inequalities, have been adequately engaged with. This has been important recently in the run up to a decision by commissioners about whether to extend the contract. We wanted commissioners to assure us that they had talked directly to high risk groups such as people with learning disabilities, and those from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, to ensure that services met their needs.
Our letter expressing our concerns about this, sent in June 2019, can be found here: Letter to sexual health services commissioner regarding extension of contract – June 2019
Previous action Healthwatch Surrey has taken
Healthwatch Surrey was not informed or asked to be involved in any of the engagement prior to decisions being made about the future of sexual health services.
We attended an event in May 2017 to listen to views about service changes affecting people with HIV and sexual health conditions. 81 people attended the meeting and during that time, 48 experiences were shared with us. See Snapshot of people with HIV and sexual health conditions – June 2017.
Since then we have used our powers to raise these concerns in a number of ways (in sequence):
- We have shared what we heard at that event with commissioners at Surrey County Council and NHS England (see report above).
- We have written twice to commissioners questioning the extent of engagement and consultation.
- We have attempted to raise the issue at the Adults and Health Select Committee. This is a County Council committee which scrutinises decisions about health and social care in Surrey.
- We have written to commissioners to put on record formally that we do not feel there has been an appropriate level of engagement and consultation and we have asked commissioners to extend the time period for genuine engagement.
- We have used our legal power to refer this issue to the Adults and Health Select Committee who are required to respond to us within 20 days.
The NHS constitution enshrines the right of people to be “…involved, directly or through representatives, in the planning of healthcare services commissioned by NHS bodies, the development and consideration of proposals for changes in the way those services are provided, and in decisions to be made affecting the operation of those services…”.
Good practice in engagement with the public would involve establishing views and concerns when proposals for change are at a formative stage; providing sufficient reasons for the change to permit “intelligent consideration”; giving adequate time for consideration and response, and taking feedback “conscientiously into account…”. These are called the Gunning Principles.
We are questioning, based on the evidence available to us, how the rights under the NHS constitution have been met and how the principles of genuine engagement have been followed.
We have put these points to the commissioners in the letters below and will be publishing their responses.
On 8th August, we also attended the Patient Information Session at St Peter’s Hospital. We have recorded the questions raised during the meeting and are putting these to the commissioners for their response.
24th August 2017
Commissioners have produced notes from the public meeting (8 August). PUBLIC MEETING ABOUT CHANGES TO HIV AND SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICES IN SURREY.
UPDATE: 12th September 2017
At the second patient information session, it was agreed that the notes of the meeting will be published on the Healthwatch Surrey website. We have been told by commissioners, that these will be available by Wednesday 20th September 2017.
UPDATE: 28th September 2017
Please find below the notes, mobilisation plan, and powerpoint presentation from the meeting that took place on the 9th September 2017.
If you have any further questions, concerns and experiences that you would like to share with us, please get in touch.
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