Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council are running a joint consultation to give local residents their say in how sexual health services in the city and county are run with a view to commissioning a more integrated sexual health service to better meet local needs.
Local authorities have a responsibility to help people achieve good sexual health and consequently commission a number of services such as contraceptive services, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment services. Current contract arrangements are ending in March 2016 with a need to re-procure these services from April 2016.
Public Health teams in both Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have created a new proposed model for how the authorities commission sexual health services based on previous engagement with service users and stakeholders, and are seeking views on it.
The draft model sets out an approach for an integrated system with multiple sexual health services available in one place. For example, someone needing to attend for contraception may also want to get tested for a possible infection or talk to someone about a sexual health worry or concern. The model also features an increased emphasis on preventing sexual health infections through greater engagement with citizens and education.
Coun Joyce Bosnjak, chair of the public health vommittee at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Having good sexual health is about feeling good about yourself, having the knowledge and skills to protect yourself and others and in being able to make positive decisions that can have important impact on your life in many ways.
“People have already told us that they want a more integrated approach where several services are available under one roof, which is reflected in the draft plans that we’ve come up with, we’re now seeking your opinions on what that might look like.”
Consultation on a new draft model for providing sexual health services in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will run until Thursday 2nd April.
Citizens, stakeholders and organisations can respond via online surveys on the consultation pages of Nottinghamshire County Council website, while paper copies of the consultation will be available in all county public libraries.
Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council are engaging in a joint commissioning process for sexual health services given it is acknowledged not everyone chooses to access this type of service near to where they live.