Enter and view: Sexual Health Clinic

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Summary of report content

This was an announced and invited visit to the clinic following a workshop held by Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire at Dunstable College with a group of students. The management team of the clinic were very keen for a group of young people to visit the clinic to provide a young person’s perspective on services offered including their observations about the venue, location and environment. Young Healthwatch attended on a Friday afternoon at 4pm, when the clinic was closed to the public, for staff training, to avoid putting service users in an uncomfortable position.


There were no obvious signs at one of the entrances to the clinic to indicate that it is a Sexual Health Clinic.  Signs can provide reassurance to service users who may be feeling anxious about attending the clinic or being seen entering the clinic.

There were systems in place to ensure that service users could provide information discreetly to register. Upon entry to the clinic, two self-check in screens are available for use, but at the time of the visit neither screen worked. Another option for service users is to sign in at reception. This involved being handed a selection of documents to complete, without the need to talk to a member of staff at the desk.

There were a number of waiting rooms to allow privacy.  Wifi access was available to allow people to use their phones or tablets to help them feel at ease.

Interview rooms were also available to provide a private space where questions can be asked and answered honestly without the pressure of being overlooked or heard by others.

Adjacent to this are three toilets each containing a hatch with access to the laboratory. This limits the chance of infection being spread and allows patients to leave their samples in the bathroom, avoiding the process of carrying them into the clinical room.

When the clinic collects personal information, this is stored under an ID number to reassure patients that their information is being stored safely. If staff need to share any information due to safeguarding or other issues, they will ask for consent first.

Test results are provided within 15 working days, and positive results are not sent via text message, patients will receive a personal telephone call. Positive HIV results are always relayed face to face.

The clinic has its own automated 24-hour results line which allows patients to have access to their results at any time.

There are a number of appointments available to pre-book either by calling the clinic or by booking online. These appointments are for a variety of needs such as symptomatic sexual health screening or contraception. Booked appointments are not available on a Saturday. Walk In & Wait clinics are available Monday to Saturday. The service can see a user for any kind of sexual health or contraception related query in the Walk In & Wait clinic – excluding non-emergency coil fitting. At certain times, dedicated clinics are run specifically for patients who are aged 24 and under.

The clinic can also help with pregnancy tests, and advice about their choices.

The service uses ‘Language Line’ for people who need an interpreter.

The service is well situated for people ho live in Bedfordshire and those who also live outside the area. No one is ever turned away and they are seen and treated for the service they require.

Feedback cards were available in reception. These cards were viewed weekly and encourage regular quality improvement. This system ensured the clinic offers the best services and caters to the people using them.

This is a much-needed service which really impressed all the Healthwatch representatives who attended. In the absence of service users at the time of the visit, the service appeared to be clean and organised. This allowed the space to feel safe and welcoming. The age range accessing the service emphasised the need for more clinics like this to support both teenagers and adults.


The clinic should consider extending their opening hours on a Friday to allow more young people to access the services at a more convenient time after school when they are likely to visit the town centre.

The clinic should consider developing an app to help young people book appointments at the clinic.


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General details

Report title 
Enter and view: Sexual Health Clinic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 31 October, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 28 June, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 28 June, 2019
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Health promotion
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Patient records
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Service Provider
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Sexual health

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Gynaecological conditions
Urological conditions
Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Not known
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.