Summary of report content
Healthwatch South Tyneside and Young Healthwatch undertook research as to whether a newly relocated sexual health service was meeting the needs of young people using it. They undertook visits to the service and a sur vey of young people between 21 January to 28 February 2020. 165 young people aged between 13 – 25 responded to the survey.
Most of the young people (85%) spoken to were female, suggesting that women are more at ease talking about sexual health than men.
Over three quarters knew where to get sexual health information and advice. Those that didn’t were predominantly younger. A similar number would speak to a friend or relative if they needed sexual health advice.
Seven in ten said they knew where they could get free contraception from. Those that didn’t know were in the younger age groups, community groups and from minority ethnic backgrounds. Three quarters knew where to get emergency contraception. The three main places young people accessed contraception from were the sexual health clinic, their GP and pharmacy.
Over half knew where their local sexual health clinic was. Overall sexual health services in South Tyneside were rated as fair or easy to access. Some young people who did state access was difficult said this was because of location, feeling embarrassed, not enough drop-in clinics on offer and not enough information about services.
Nearly nine in ten agreed there should be a dedicated young person’s clinic. They had suggestions as to how to make the current service more young person friendly, and where it should be situated.
Just over half of the sample said there was enough information about services, suggesting that there are some areas in need of improvement. Nearly three in five had used sexual health services.
Overall patients preferred a mixture of both appointments and drop-in sessions and this was dependant on what they were receiving treatment for. Over a third had waited over 60 minutes to be seen. There were a range of opinions on the set up of the service and barriers to access.
Over four in five said it was easy or fair to talk to staff about their sexual health concerns. Nearly nine in ten felt their privacy and confidentiality was respected during their visit.
Overall eighty five per cent of respondents would recommend the sexual health service to someone they know.
The report contains 10 recommendations about improving access; making the service more young people friendly, cutting waiting times and improving awareness of the service.
The report includes a response from the provider.