A new service providing free and confidential sexual health advice and treatment across the county launches this month
bSHaW – Buckinghamshire Sexual Health and Wellbeing â has been commissioned by Buckinghamshire County Council and will help people with both contraception and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
It will be provided by Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity; working together to offer all Buckinghamshire residents easy access to free and confidential local sexual health services.
As with current sexual health services, the bSHaW service will be completely confidential, with friendly and sensitive staff who understand that people using it may be anxious or nervous. To use the service, people can either make an appointment or attend a walk-in-and-wait clinic.
There are also special clinics dedicated to treating young people under 25 years, with a new programme called Young and Free to encourage all young people who are sexually active to get tested for chlamydia every year and/or at every change of sexual partner. Young people are also able to order an online test kit if they would prefer not to attend a clinic.
Information on this and all other sexual health services in Bucks can be found at www.sexualhealthbucks.nhs.uk
Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, who awarded the bSHaW contracts after a tendering process last year, said: “Both Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the Terrence Higgins Trust have worked with us previously in providing sexual health services. They will continue to provide these services but, by working even more closely together, will be able to give people a more seamless experience with an easier, single point of access for all their sexual health needs. I know that under these new contracts they will ensure that bSHaW is a comprehensive quality service for all residents, with a special focus on the health and wellbeing of our young people.”
Dr Graz Luzzi, Consultant in Genitourinary and HIV Medicine at the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are excited to have this opportunity to build on the strengths of our existing sexual health service and, in partnership with Terrence Higgins Trust , create this new, easy to access, local service to help improve sexual health and wellbeing across the county”.
Sue Peters, Terrence Higgins Trust Regional Manager South said: “Sexual health is an important part of the public health agenda and sexual health services are absolutely vital for everyone. We will provide a local, non-judgemental, confidential service to all who need it, and we would like to encourage anyone who is sexually active to make use of the service”.