Beeston Village Health Centre will be one of four community settings offering sexual health services following the launch of a new service, as the local NHS teams up with charity Yorkshire MESMAC to deliver integrated care.
Leeds Sexual Health will provide contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, as well as HIV testing, improving care within in the city.
The new service brings together the specialist expertise currently provided by Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health service (CaSH), Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s Genito-Urinary Medicine service (GUM) and Yorkshire MESMAC, to provide improvements in sexual health for communities right across Leeds.
The services provided at the Centre for Sexual Health at the LGI will continue until October 2015 when a brand new specialist facility will open in the Merrion Centre. This will be the ‘hub’ of the service alongside four clinics held in the community at Beeston Village Health Centre, Burmantofts Health Centre, Armley Moor Health Centre and the Reginald Centre in Chapeltown. Under 25 year olds can continue to also access the contraception clinic at Citywise on Eastgate until October when this will move to be part of the new hub at the Merrion Centre. Both men and women will be seen at all sites, expanding choice and access for men across the city into the community venues.
Julie Arundale, Service Manager for Leeds Sexual Health, said: “After being awarded the contract to deliver integrated sexual health services at the end of 2014, it is exciting that today we can officially launch Leeds Sexual Health. The partnership has been working hard to deliver this innovative service and we’re passionate about achieving our goal – to provide the people of Leeds with a sexual health service that is responsive, personalised and confidential.”
Amy Evans, Lead Clinician in sexual health and HIV, commented: “The new integrated service hub in the Merrion Centre will bring specialised sexual health provision in Leeds under one roof. We are looking to see many benefits for patients and improvements in how services are provided by the NHS thanks to the co-location of services.
“We are looking forward to working with MESMAC and LCH in the hub and across Leeds to ensure that people receive the best possible care when they need it, discreetly and effectively.”
Currently, anyone can self -refer to attend walk-in services or may book appointments directly with the clinics without involving GPs .Soon, people will also be able to book an appointment and order testing kits for chlamydia and gonorrhoea online through the new look Leeds Sexual Health website.
Speaking about the launch of the new look website, Tom Doyle, Chief Executive of Yorkshire MESMAC, said: “LeedsSexualHealth.com brings sexual health in Leeds into the 21st century. Local people will be able to quickly access the information, tests and services they need with a few clicks of a mouse.”’
The contract to provide sexual health services in the city was awarded to LCH, LTHT and Yorkshire MESMAC by Leeds City Council. Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, commented:
“People in Leeds deserve to have the best sexual health services. We’re committed to services being designed with the needs of service users at their heart, so we ensured people who use the services told us what they thought would work best when designing the ways of working, as well as wider analysis about the most effective ways to provide the sexual health services for people in the city in the best way possible.”
During this transitional period, patients can call the helpline on (0113) 392 6725 if they are unsure how and where to access sexual health treatment and support in the city. Appointments can be made by calling (0113) 392 6724 or by visiting www.leedssexualhealth.com.