Residents of North Yorkshire and the city of York are being asked to help reshape the area’s sexual health services as part of a process designed to improve health and wellbeing and to make the most of the money available for health and social care.
Local authorities took over responsibility from the NHS for commissioning local sexual health services earlier this year. North Yorkshire County Council and City of York Council will now commission open access HIV prevention, sexual health promotion, genitourinary medicine and contraceptive services – also known as ‘family planning’ and GU services. As part of the awarding of the new contracts, consultation exercises are being staged so that residents, service users, providers, and health professionals can give their views on how the service should look.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, are a major health issue for the UK, leading to conditions which range from the acute and chronic disease manifestations of HIV to complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility and cervical cancer. Young people in particular are affected by STIs.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Public Health said:
Effective services are the key to improving the sexual health of the people of North Yorkshire.
The services need to be easily accessible so that appointments are easy to make, and are available in places where and when patients need them. They need to be friendly, welcoming and confidential.
Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Services said:
People in York and North Yorkshire benefit from some excellent quality sexual health service, but not all residents enjoy the same levels of accessibility to these services and to the full range of sexual health services that should be available. We want to see an improvement in the delivery of services to young people, especially young people engaged in risky behaviours. These challenges require new innovative ways of working, utilising the latest technologies.
Once the consultation period has closed, a number of services will go through a re-procurement process, with new contracts awarded in April 2015.
Consultation on the proposed service will take place between Monday 6 January and Friday 28 February 2014. Two public meetings will be held to give people the opportunity to find out more.
They will be at The Forum, Bullamoor Road, Northallerton, between 10am and noon on Tuesday 28 January 2014, and at the Hudson Board Room, West Offices, Station Rise, York, between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday 12 February 2014.
For more information, or to book a place, email firstname.lastname@example.org, before Friday 10 January 2014.