A 3 month pilot scheme offering sexually transmitted infection screening to under 16’s who access services in a voluntary agency

A 3 month pilot scheme offering sexually transmitted infection screening

to under 16’s who access services in a voluntary agency

K. Jones (1), M. Devine (2), C. Jones (2), B. Beeching (2), P. Roberts (1),

J. Davies (1), C. Bates (1)

Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Liverpool, UK (1); Merseyside Brook

Centre, Liverpool, UK (2)

Introduction: An audit was carried out on female clients under the age

of 16 presenting for emergency contraception between 1st March and 31st March

2003 at a City Centre Voluntary Agency for sexual health and contraception. The

clients had had unprotected sexual intercourse within the preceding 72 hours. An

invitation was given for them to attend the local Gum clinic and a referral

letter was given to every client. After 6 weeks GUM systems were checked for

attendance and none of these clients had attended.

Objectives: To discuss the process of setting up a fully integrated

GUM and contraceptive service in a voluntary setting. To evaluate whether under

16’s would access STI screening in a setting more familiar to them.

Design and methods: In September 2003 a family planning trained Nurse

Practitioner from GUM was appointed. She worked together with the Lead Nurse

from the Voluntary Organisation and the Management Teams to set up the GUM

service in the Voluntary Agency. Two family planning trained nurses from the

Voluntary Agency were appointed to work one session a week as Nurse

Practitioners. They both spent a period of time working in the local GUM clinic

training to Nurse Practitioner level. A training programme was followed. There

were briefing sessions organised to discuss the process with all members of the

Voluntary Agency teams. Policies were agreed around Health and Safety child

protection. Fraiser Guidelines were used to assess client’s competencies. The

lead Nurse Practitioner was a Extended Formulary Nurse Prescriber and Patient

Group Directions were drawn up to enable the other Nurse Practitioners to issue

treatments. All documentation was kept as part of Voluntary agency notes.

Results: In January 2004 a nurse led STI screening service, for two

sessions a week, was offered. Clients attending the Voluntary Agency were

offered an appointment for full sexual health screening. In the first four weeks

9 clients who were 16 and under made an appointment of these clients 7 attended.

5 of these clients were diagnosed with at least one thing. We will have full

results to show at Conference.

Conclusions: Although the uptake of the service by the 16 and under

age group was better than the attendance in a hospital setting the appointment

system still seemed to be a barrier to access. Young people in crisis need to be

seen quickly otherwise opportunities are missed. Under 16’s are now triaged

and seen at the next available clinic.

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