The future of sexual health services in Kirklees

Using people’s opinion to shape design and delivery

Kirklees Public Health Directorate are redesigning sexual health services in Kirklees.  Healthwatch Kirklees has been involved in the engagement and consultation around the changes.

You can view the Five Key Learning Points here:

  1. Preferred means of accessing services in future

Most people have indicated they would like to access sexual health services at their GP Practice, or from a building where all sexual health services are in one place. It is clear that people value the expertise of staff very highly, therefore the most important thing is for appropriately qualified and experienced staff to be delivering services, wherever those services may be.

2. Publicising change

There is an issue about making people aware that services will be closing at Princess Royal and moving to another location. As the closure will affect many services, not only sexual health services, this awareness raising is the responsibility of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust, Huddersfield CCG, Locala and Public Health. It is important to get messages related to service closure/changes out to the public as soon as possible so that people do not feel misled and have time to adjust and prepare for accessing services in another setting.

3. Privacy/confidentiality

People want to feel they can walk in to a sexual health service and speak to the receptionist without anyone in the waiting room hearing any of their personal details. Problems seem to arise when the reception desk is in close proximity to the waiting room; people don’t like this and it can, understandably, be a barrier for people. The design of any future sexual health service should take this into consideration to ensure the layout is conducive to having a private and confidential interaction between staff and service users.

4. Having a welcoming, friendly environment

People clearly value services where the environment is warm, welcoming and relaxed and the staff are friendly and approachable. It will be important not to lose this when reconfiguring future services.

5. Providing appointments

Most people would prefer to be able to book an appointment, and appointments should be available after 5pm and Saturday mornings. Drop in clinics work for some people but not when there is a long waiting time. Ideally, there should be flexibility with staffing levels so that more staff can be made available at busier times, for example during lunch time drop-in sessions near or in colleges.

You can see the full report here