University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) has been awarded a five-year contract to deliver sexual health services for Birmingham and Solihull from August 2015.
Health bosses are confident the new system will better meet the needs of a young, diverse population, with a greater emphasis on:
- integrated sexual health services that combine contraception with testing and treatment for STIs
- health promotion and prevention
- services that address sexual coercion, exploitation and violence
- services in primary care â€“ family doctors and pharmacy (Birmingham only)
- services through third sector organisations
- better access to services in Birmingham and Solihull, including through options such as digital and online
- better outcomes for the people of Birmingham and Solihull, such as reduction in late diagnosis of HIV, fewer unplanned pregnancies, better identification of Chlamydia infection
The decision to award the contract to UHB reflects feedback from an in-depth consultation with the public, service users and providers. It will offer a sexual health network for Birmingham and Solihull rather than the current pattern of unconnected contracts with several organisations.
UHB as the lead provider will sub-contract and manage other organisations, including the third sector and primary care (Birmingham only), to provide services.
Birmingham City Council Cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr John Cotton, said: “Taking care of your sexual health is about much more than treatment and prevention. It’s about taking care of your health, your partners health and your decisions about relationships. Our new services will be focused on helping people make those choices.
“And we want to go further, ensuring that we are supporting people who are vulnerable to, or victims of, sexual exploitation or violence. These are important issues for our city and we want to do all in our power to protect people at risk.”
Councillor Ken Meeson, Solihull Councilâ€™s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: â€œSome of the work in sexual health is focused on protecting people from the consequences of impulsive, or sadly nowadays sometimes enforced actions, but good sexual health is also very much about enhancing peopleâ€™s lives and relationships. Working across our two boroughs strengthens opportunities to give people information to enable then to make good decisions and also help with any fallout from bad ones.â€
UHB currently provides the majority of sexual health services in Birmingham, including the only purpose-built city centre clinic (Whittall Street).
UHBâ€™s chief executive Dame Julie Moore said: “We are delighted by the announcement confirming our role in the future of sexual health services in Birmingham and Solihull.
â€œUmbrella will provide a transformed, holistic and fully integrated sexual health service across Birmingham and Solihull. Our partnership will deliver health promotion and prevention messages, with improved access to a full range of clinical services (from contraception, HIV testing to testing and treatment for STIs) placing quality, patient experience and safety at its core.
â€œWe would also like to thank all of our partners who have contributed to achieving a successful outcome and we look forward to working with them closely as we go forward.”
Birmingham City Council
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0121 371 4325
Notes to editors
Existing contracts for sexual health services will be extended until the new services start, to ensure continuity of service provision in Birmingham and Solihull.
Contracts for support services for people living with HIV in Birmingham will also be extended – to the end of March 2016, to allow the opportunity for consultation on future recommissioning of these services and for an appropriate procurement process to take place.
Further information and updates on the new sexual health services will be posted regularly on: www.birmingham.gov.uk/sexualhealthcommissioning