Sexual health contract awarded to local health trust

Published March 30, 2016 at 13:33

A new contract for providing sexual health services in Blackburn with Darwen has been awarded to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.

As of April 1 2016, the health organisation will work in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Council, Brook, Healthier Living and a number of sub-contracted providers to deliver new and improved services to both young people and adults across the borough.

Following a competitive tendering process, the new partnership will build on the achievements of existing providers in the borough by bringing a range of new and innovative services together.

Under the new contract advice, information, targeted and specialist interventions to treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and contraception services will be provided. The model of delivery will also promote healthy relationships, improved sexual and general health, with positive emotional wellbeing as a normal expectation for people of all ages. In addition advocacy and social care support will be provided to those who live with diagnosed HIV.

Improved self-care will also be encouraged and the Trust will provide education and training to other organisations to promote better sexual health as everybody’s business.

Sexual health ‘Champions’ will be created and they will be trained and enabled to work on a number of initiatives, for example supporting work  to progress a Lancashire Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender quality mark accreditation.

The new service will utilise the latest digital technologies to improve access to advice, information and help, this will include the use of web based applications, mobile apps, text messaging and social media.

Lancashire Care Foundation Trust will oversee a contract with Brook, the young people’s sexual health and wellbeing charity, to compliment specific support for young people. This will ensure early intervention and prevention as a priority, as well as continued access to specialised contraception, STI treatment, advice and testing services.

The tendering process and re-design of the service follows the expiration of inherited contracts for Blackburn with Darwen Council following Public Health responsibility moving from NHS to local authorities in April 2013.

Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

Whilst we acknowledge that we have had good local sexual health services for both young people and adults in Blackburn with Darwen for a number of years, we aspire to see continuous improvement in the quality of that provision which also needs to provide innovation and ‘value for money’ as we buy these services on behalf of our local residents.  We recognise that having excellent accessible services, including improved digital support where possible, will help us to improve health outcomes for our people and that is our priority.

Sue Capstick, service line manager for sexual health at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:

We are so pleased to have the opportunity to continue working with the people of Blackburn with Darwen and to bring together our expertise with those of Brook and our sub-contractors. Our aim will be to embed our self-care model; ultimately encouraging people to, either independently or with support, feel empowered to take responsibility for their own sexual health.

All providers have already been working closely with the people of Blackburn with Darwen and have a wealth of experience in achieving successful outcomes with this diverse population through an equal, welcoming and sensitive approach. We look forward to building upon this way of working further as we begin the new contract.

For more information about the sexual health services or help to access support contact: (01772) 401140 or visit: www.cashlancashirecare.nhs.uk

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