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FSRH Welcomes Nurses at a one day conference

24 May, 14 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor


The FSRH is delighted that from January 2014 nurses are Eligible to become members of the FSRH and to undertake training for the Nurse Diploma in Sexual and Reproductive Health Care (NDFSRH), the Letters of Competence in both intrauterine devices and subdermal implants and the postgraduate qualification in medical education. The organising committee has planned this ‘one off’ meeting to update delegates on FSRH qualifications and to provide a general update on contraception, together with a motivational speaker on communication skills. This event is aimed at all nurses working in sexual and reproductive health in any setting, service managers and lecture practitioners.


Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

27 Sussex Place, London, NW1 4RG

 Course Fee £130.

For Nurse Diplomate & Associate members £120

Please make cheques payable to FSRH and send to

Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, 27 Sussex Place, London, NW1 4RG

Full programme




New Guidance For Young People At Risk

3 Apr, 14 | by shaworth

A joint document designed to help healthcare professionals identify young children who may be at risk of sexual exploitation has been launched today. The project, Spotting The Signs, was funded by the Department of Health and produced by BASHH (the lead professional representative body for those managing STIs and HIV in the UK) and Brook (a charity which provides sexual health services for young people) . The document is a pro-forma, aimed at those working in sexual health services and is designed to be used within existing social and sexual health history frameworks, supporting professionals to engage young people in conversations about their risk of sexual exploitations.

Based on current research and evidence, the document assists professionals in indentifying circumstances and behaviours which be concerning, and reminds us about the dangers of assumptions based on the stereotypes we hold of certain social groups and cultures. The project was developed through consultations with young people.

The proforma was written by Dr Karen Rogstad of BASHH and Georgia Johnston of Brook. Dr Karen Rogstad is a  Consultant in HIV and Sexual Health at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and previously chair of the BASHH Adolescent Special Interest Group “This is the first national proforma to be developed which covers all sexual health providers working with young people, and that has been developed with young people’s input. It is particularly valuable because of the range of services that have evaluated it, including General Practice, and its endorsement by a wide range of organisations.  I hope it will help in identifying those young people who are being exploited as well as those who may be at risk in the future.”

Spotting the Signs is available to download from Brook and BASHH’s websites. It can be used alongside existing Brook guidance documents such as the traffic light toolkit which helps identify behaviours which may be cause for concern.


Historic News for Nurse Training in SRH

26 Nov, 13 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

Members of the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) have voted overwhelmingly to widen membership to include nurses, paving the way for the development of a new nationally recognised qualification for nurses working in sexual health. This happened last Thursday at an extraordinary general meeting before the Current Choices Conference in London, after which Dr Chris Wilkinson made a formal announcement it in his President’s opening address to the conference. This brought forth spontaneous applause and positive comments from Minister for Public Health, Jane Ellison MP, who said:

“This announcement is a groundbreaking moment for multi-disciplinary working in the health service. I am delighted to see the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare leading the way in opening up their membership to nurses, ensuring that doctors and nurses work together to set standards and improve patient care. I hope this will act as an example for all services.”

and Director of Nursing for Public Health England, Professor Viv Bennett, who added:

“Effective accessible sexual health services need highly skilled teams. It is fantastic that the Faculty is valuing the key roles of nurses in the multi-disciplinary team, providing the opportunity for nurses in sexual health to gain a nationally recognised qualification and through membership to the Faculty ensuring nurses play a national strategic role in developing sexual health services as well as providing high quality services to people locally”

The FSRH becomes one of the very few medical Colleges and Faculties to include nurses within its membership, reflecting the key role that nurses play in the delivery of sexual health care, and the organisation’s desire to promote and develop multi-disciplinary working in sexual health.

What this means in practice is that from January 2014 nurses will be able to become full members of the FSRH by following the same route as doctors and completing the Nurse Diploma. Within the new training structure (for doctors and nurses) there will be a new online knowledge assessment (eKA) which will test the theoretical knowledge gained from the e-SRH or elsewhere. Those who wish to go on to complete a diploma will (after passing the eKA) complete the Course of 5 workshops followed by the ACPs (assessments of clinical practice) as doctors currently do. All of these will be logged via an online e-portfolio. An additional change is that doctors and nurses will, in future, be able to undertake the LoCs (Letters of Competence) for either SDIs or IUTs without first having to complete the diploma – they will, however, have to pass the eKA first.

Further information will be posted on the FSRH website nearer the time of launch.

ESC – 13thCongress and call for applications for project funding

16 Sep, 13 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

Mark your calendar:

28 till 31 May 2014
Lisbon, Portugal

First announcement

Check out the first announcement including:

  • programme overview: 8 workshops, 21 congress sessions, 2 debates…
  • abstract submission instructions (deadline 1 December 2013)
  • registration form

Register now

Please find here an overview of the registration fees.
You can now register through the online registration form

General information / Programme overviewCall for abstracts (deadline = 1st December 2013)/ Registration

ESC newsletter

Call for project or course applications

The ESC provides funding to support a project within Europe

The available budget for applications received between 1 August and 31 December 2013 is 30,000 euro. Applications should meet the following minimal conditions:

  • The applicant must be a paid-up ESC member
  • The grant may be used to support an individual, group, institute or organisation with a project related to the aims of the ESC.
  • Examples of projects include: research, audit, review, needs assessment

Deadline for the application period:  31 December 2013

Application Form



Faculty 20th Anniversary Celebration & McGonagall’s Ode!

19 Jul, 13 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

At the event to celebrate the Faculty’s 20th anniversary, those gathered were regaled, by the invited after-dinner speaker Professor James Drife, with the following ode – available as a podcast for best effect:

The Editor felt the Journal’s readers might like to share the experience, although nothing could compare with seeing the performance ‘live’.

When not engaged in composing and reciting poetry, Professor Drife’s day job is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


McGonagall’s ode to the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health


O what a very exciting place this is to be,

On Thursday the sixth of June, in the year 2-0-1-3

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ Committee Room One,

Where over the years many mighty medicopolitical deeds have been done.


O what beautiful portraits there are on the walls,

Showing how the president’s face lights up when the portrait painter calls!

If only the Faculty also had presidential portraits, I think they would look very fine,

And when viewed as a group would not be so overwhelmingly masculine.


The rest of the RCOG is fully occupied with a course right now,

So if you want to run a busy labour ward, there are experts here to tell you how:

But if you prefer your labour ward to be under-occupied and have rooms to spare,

You should follow the guidance of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare.


For the Faculty tells people what to do with their cap, pill, condom, LARC or coil

If they wish to avoid pregnancy and parenthood and all that worry and toil,

And instead continue their careers, travel to far-off lands,

And feel free to buy new furniture, use moisturiser and eat from non-stick frying pans.


Tonight we are here to celebrate the Faculty’s 20th anniversary,

Which is why we have come from many distant places to London, NW1 4RG.

I myself have travelled from Dundee, by the new railway bridge over the silver Tay,

Which unlike the old one, has stayed up and has not been swept away.


But Professor Johannes Bitzer has had an even longer journey than mine –

All the way from Basel, Switzerland, with its historic bridge over the silvery Rhine,

A bridge that, I believe, has a chapel halfway across so you can offer up a prayer –

A feature that our new railway bridge could have done with, but it isnae there.


Tonight we also have a Liverpool delegation, which is small but select:

Meera Kishen, an ex-president, and John Ashton and David Richmond, presidents-elect.

The first RCOG president was from Liverpool, and still today if you’re feeling presidential,

Residence in Merseyside evidently remains desirable if not essential.


But there are exceptions to every rule, are there not?

President Chris Wilkinson is a Londoner and President Tony Falconer is a Scot,

And the Faculty has had presidents from Bournemouth and Southwark and all over the place,

So clearly my comment about Liverpool is not evidence-based.
For the Faculty is an international organisation, when all is said and done,

With a membership that now stands at 16,271

(Stretching alphabetically from Australia to Zimbabwe, which is many a mile)

And with Honorary Fellows in many exotic places including, as of today, Carlisle.


And also in the House of Lords, one of London’s most exclusive addresses,

For our roll-call of Honorary Fellows includes two distinguished baronesses.

Long may the House of Lords continue to play its part in the great political game:

May all the plans for reform be limited to giving it a gender-neutral name.


O how grateful we all are for that historic day, Friday the 26th March 1993,

The date of the founding, twenty years ago, of the FFPRHC!

In that same week, there had already been another advance in science and scholarship,

With the launch, on Monday the 22nd March, of the Intel Pentium microchip.


So today, both the Faculty and the Intel Pentium microprocessor are 20 years old –

A characteristic they share with three members of One Direction, or so I am told.

How marvellous to share a birthday with a successful microchip and famous boy band,

Neither of which a man of my age is able to understand.


But what I do know is that the Faculty is a major force for good in sexual health,

And that its members, fellows and friends represented here are its real wealth.

Aye, of movers and shakers, the honorary Fellows’ list is a veritable encyclopaedia

Which now includes Dr Mike Smith, known as the Big Daddy of doctors in the media.


And one other new fellow, who has never joined Mike in front of the microphones

Because other men have already done a show with the title, “Alias Smith and Jones”.

Corin Jones has been with the Faculty, man and boy, since it was called NAFPAD,

And is now retiring, which makes everyone, except Corin, extremely sad.


For Corin is the person who for this Faculty, and for over 20 years, has done the most,

And who, as this poem draws towards its end, deserves a toast!

So, to drink the health of Corin and the Faculty, let us rise, one and all,

With a big thank-you from everyone here, including your humble poetic servant, William McGonagall.


Jim Drife, with acknowledgments to the Great Bard of Dundee.


28 Mar, 13 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

New RCN publication:

Genital examination in women – A resource for skills development and assessment.

The purpose of the document is to provide standards and sample assessment tools for training in genital examination in women for nurses working in sexual and reproductive health settings, and related health and social care settings. It replaces the earlier Vaginal and Genital Examination Guidance for nurses and midwives (2006) and Competencies for nurses undertaking bimanual genital examinations (2011) and acknowledges the input of members of the FSRH Associated Members Working Group and BASHH.

Reminder to register as stakeholder for NICE Patient group directions Good Practice Guidance

Management of PGDs will change from the 1st April when commissioning of services changes. All those involved in development or use of PGDs can contribute at the  consultation stage by registering as a stakeholder now. Individuals can contribute as service providers.

To register your organisation as a stakeholder send registration details (name of contact, name of organisation, email address) to using the subject heading Patient group directions GPG stakeholder registration 2012/13

PGD authorisation in new organisational structures – DH update

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Department of Health are amending medicines legislation to:

(i) enable Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities and the NHS Commissioning Board to authorise PGDs from April 2013; and,

(ii) to ensure that existing PGDs with an expiry date after 31 March 2013 will continue to be legal until the PGD either expires or is replaced.

These changes are consequential to the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and will enable the continued use of PGDs in new health system organisational structures.

Transitional arrangements

The legislation will also incorporate transitional arrangements to ensure the continued availability of PGDs during organisational change, and to ensure that staff and organisations are not acting outside the law. These arrangements will allow PGDs to remain legal after the original authorising body (e.g. a PCT) has been abolished, and until expiry or authorisation by the new body responsible for the service in question. Responsibility for PGDs will transfer to these new bodies, and organisations ‘inheriting’ PGDs will need to put in place clear arrangements and a timetable for review and adoption/authorisation of all existing PGDs. Further advice is available in the FAQs section of this website. See links below.

The National Prescribing Centre (NPC) (now the Medicines and Prescribing Centre (MPC) at NICE) has published a practical guide and framework of competencies for organisations and professionals developing and using PGDs. See link below.

The MPC are reviewing this document, including to take account of changes to legislation and organisational structures, with the aim of re-publishing by June  2013. In advance of this updated edition, organisations delivering services under PGDs can still use the existing document to help guide them through the legal framework governing the development and authorisation of PGDs, and to provide practical guidance on their use. As summarised by Angela Bussey, Principal Pharmacist Medicines Information Project, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

more from:–DH-update-/

Journal Online First

13 Feb, 13 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The following Online Firsts have been published

Does a full bladder assist insertion of intrauterine contraception?: a randomised trial (Cameron, Glasier, Cooper,  Johnstone)

Cameron and colleagues set out to answer a simple question: does a full bladder assist insertion of intrauterine contraception? In the world of assisted conception a full bladder had been shown to aid intrauterine catheter insertion for embryo transfer, but could this knowledge be transferred usefully to the world of contraception? This simple question was answered in a simple and elegant way with a properly constructed and conducted randomised trial, which showed that we needn’t ask our clients requesting IUD/IUS insertion to arrive bursting – a fact for which both they and clinic staff will be duly grateful.

Impact of UK Medical Eligibility Criteria implementation on prescribing of combined hormonal contraceptives (Briggs, Praet, Humphreys, Zhao)

Briggs et al. have assessed the effect of the UKMEC on prescribing of combined hormonal contraceptives (CHC). Sadly, although there has been a small decrease in the proportion of higher-risk women being prescribed CHCs, their results suggest that in 2010 7.3% of CHC users had Category 3 or 4 risk factors, particularly BMI ≥35. The authors point out that it is likely many of these women were being placed at an unnecessarily high risk of cardiovascular events, given the availability of lower risk alternatives.

Understanding barriers to sexual health service access among substance-misusing women on the South East coast of England (Edelman, Patel, Glasper, Bogen-Johnston)

This interesting article explores why substance-abusing women have problems accessing SRH services in Hastings, UK. Drug use, low self-esteem and previous traumatic experiences all combine prevent women accessing help. This is a qualitative interview study and provides important insights into the care of these women; there are no easy answers but the authors have provided some suggestions as to how practitioners may make the service more accessible.

Coping after recurrent miscarriage: uncertainty and bracing for the worst (Ockhuijsen, Boivin, van den Hoogen, Macklon)

Pregnancy loss is a significant trauma for women, the more so if repeated.  In their study, Ockhuijsen and her colleagues investigated the ways in which women coped in the time after single and recurrent miscarriages and in the difficult period soon after conception while waiting for ongoing pregnancy to be confirmed. They found that coping strategies differed between the two groups of women and they investigated the use of a simple psychological support tool, the Positive Reappraisal Coping Intervention, that may be of help, particularly to those with greater concern for the future following recurrent miscarriage.

The role of ambulatory hysteroscopy in reproduction (Robinson, Cooper, Clark)

The relatively recent introduction of outpatient operative hysteroscopy enables investigation and treatment previously carried out in the operating theatre to be performed in the clinic setting without the need for general anaesthesia. A ‘see and treat’ style of management is being adopted, which is changing how we configure our gynaecological services. This review summarises the role for ambulatory hysteroscopy in the diagnosis of conditions contributing to reproductive failure and in sterilisation.

The use of local anaesthesia for intrauterine device insertion by health professionals in the UK (Akintomide, Sewell, Stephenson)

What to do now? How women with breast cancer make fertility preservation decisions (Snyder, Tate)

A service-based approach to nurse training in sexual and reproductive health care (Shawe, Cox, Penny, White, Wilkinson)

Increasing male participation in the uptake of vasectomy services (Singh, Mishra, Alam, Pandey)

Correlates of unprotected sexual intercourse among women who inject drugs or who have sexual partners who inject drugs in St Petersburg, Russia
(Abdala, Hansen, Toussova, Krasnoselskikh, Verevochkin, Kozlov, Heimer)

Plus Organisation Factfiles on Tommys and the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) by Susan Quilliam and a letter to the editor “Learning from Romanian women’s struggle to manage their fertility” by Ann Furedi following the article in the January Journal


Momentous Day for Nurse Training

4 Dec, 12 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare has, today, announced that it will offer training and a qualification in sexual health for nurses. This is something nurses have been requesting for some time and should improve access and service delivery. It is part of a wider project to review training in SRH in light of the Peile Report. The project is being managed by MEDFASH in partnership with FSRH, BASHH and RCGP and is expected to extend the current well evaluated and highly regarded training and make it more flexible and accessible in the UK and internationally. see

New Resources

16 Aug, 12 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

  WHO Guidance – Safe abortion: technical and policy guidance for health systems

The second edition of this guidance has now been published and is available from:

  RCOG – The Initial Management of Chronic Pelvic Pain,  (Green-top 41)

New guidance published in May available from:

RCN – SDI and IUT Accreditation Guidance Documents – Sixth Edition

Accreditation, which is valid for 5 years costs £360 for members and £480 for non-members – re-accrediation is £180 and £240.

Available from:

“Don’t go in without a skin”

Online condoms and lubes provider the Freedoms Shop (Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust) has teamed up with Terrence Higgins Trust to launch the Summer Lovin’ campaign – urging gay men across London to use condoms – with a new online health resource. The downloadable resource brings together stacks of health and sexual safety information, presented in a cheeky, accessible way, while Freedoms is providing a half price condoms


The Journal – July Issue

27 Jul, 12 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

Highlights from this issue include:

Norethisterone and VTE risk

Diana Mansour’s article previewed at online first and in the 15th June blog. See page 148

Helping women with hirsutism

Editor’s Choice article – Stephen Franks provides useful guidance for helping women with this common and often distressing condition. See page 182

US administration’s attitude to family planning

The winner of the 2010 Margaret Jackson Prize Essay for undergraduate medical students has looked at the differences between the Bush and Obama administrations’ attitudes to family planning and abortion. See page 187

Avoiding a shocking experience with intrauterine contraceptive procedures.

Aisling Baird et al. make a compelling case for adherence to the current Faculty and UK Resuscitation Council guidelines. The last time this issue was raised, in the January 2011 edition of the journal, a flood of letters followed. See page 191

Nurse Training in the UK

Shelley Mehigan & Janice Burnett describe and discuss the Berkshire training programme for nurses which mimics the DFSRH. See page 194

The SDM: a realistic option for longer-term use

A report on the experience of nearly 500 women who used the Standard Days Method for between 2 and 3 years. See page 150

CycleBeads: the latest in ‘contraceptive jewellery’!

Describes CycleBeads®, a colour-coded string of beads, that are a visual tool that helps women use the SDM correctly. See page 157

Ovarian and cervical cancer: better awareness, earlier recognition, improved outcome?

Simon and colleagues developed and validated reliable disease-specific Cancer Awareness Measurement tools for both forms of cancer, testing them in matched comparison groups. See page 167

Encouraging IUD uptake after medical TOP

Sharon Cameron and colleagues in Edinburgh created a fast-track referral service so that women who had undergone early medical abortion & wished to use intrauterine contraception afterwards could be seen promptly for fitting. See page 175

Psychosexual therapists speak out

Psychosexual therapy can seem like one of the dark arts, but in this issue Consumer Correspondent Susan Quilliam brings us the therapists’ own stories. See page 196


Latest from JFPRHC

Latest from JFPRHC