Sexual Health and COVID-19

In the latest STI podcast, Dr Fabiola Martin talks to BASHH President Dr John McSorely about the rapid adjustments applied to UK’s sexual health care services as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and deployment of sexual health care providers to support other health care services.

Highlights from this podcast

  • All over the country sexual health services have had to adjust throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Communication was key in local responses including open collaboration between specialties in developing the standard operating procedures and allowed for the development of sexual health and COVID documents
  • Previously distance care was not fully embraced by sexual health however, the Digital First sexual health model was the first mechanism for providing distance care during lockdown
  • Monitoring digital and telehealth sexual health service care provision will now be key in order to enumerate the level of access to care by users as geographical barriers have now been removed
  • The loss of capacity due to COVID hampered the ability to risk-assess and provide sexual health care to vulnerable populations including those who are disadvantaged
  • The population least likely to utilise telehealth services was the <25 year age group. Likely due to being in shared accommodation and interaction with close family
  • It is becoming a priority to reengage face to face services for younger people in order to establish a relationship with the patient before continuing care through telehealth
  • It was found that language barriers, learning disabilities, or physical disabilities are difficult to engage with through telehealth and exemplify that ongoing innovation is needed
  • There is a need for ongoing evaluation for service implementations

Resources

British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH)
STI

STI COVID-19 article collection

 

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