Summary of report contentHealthwatch Croydon spoke with 65 young people aged between 13 and 19 years old, about their experience of using sexual health services. This was carried out in March 2017. The work was done as part of a programme of engagement on sexual health services in Croydon. The report identifies a number of key issues: young people experienced access barriers to the service, such as long waiting times, short or inconvenient opening hours, and walk-in appointments; there is a lack of information of where confidential services are available; for example, some information on sexual health is shared with parents or discussed in an open reception area; the fear of being judged, nervousness and lack of confidence also act as access barriers; sexual health staff are perceived as not always welcoming and ‘just giving…opinions of lifestyle and choices rather than understanding their needs’. The report makes the following recommendations: • Accessibility: There needs to be faster access, with flexible services fixed around times and locations suited to teenagers such as evenings and weekends and more walk-in appointments. A full range of services should be at each location, especially in places where there is a greater need for sexual health services, such as New Addington. • Advertising and awareness: Ask teenagers for their views on advertising, and then target it in locations that are right for them. Materials need to be varied, not just online, with reassuring messaging. Focused marketing is needed for those • more marginalised groups such as teenage boys, black and minority ethnic groups and non-heterosexuals. • Relevant help and support: Sexual health services should focus on supporting teenagers to make informed choices. They need to recognise that feelings associated with seeking advice, information and treatment are reflected in the design of services, as well as ensuring confidentiality at all times. • Service delivery: Services between providers need to be more joined up, meeting specific needs of teenagers. This includes a more welcoming environment, appropriate staffing, and positive attitude. Involving teenagers in service design will help meet these needs. • Overarching recommendation: We recommend that Croydon teenagers are invited to assist in defining changes and improvements to the design of sexual health services in the borough. A workshop run jointly between Healthwatch Croydon, Croydon Council’s Public Health department, and service users of teenage sexual health services will support effective decision-making on the design of future services. It is anticipated that this will deliver services more effectively reflecting teenagers’ needs.
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Sexual health services; The experience of teenagers in Croydon
Date of publication
Friday, 31 March, 2017
Date evidence capture began
Wednesday, 1 March, 2017
Date evidence capture finished
Friday, 31 March, 2017
Type of report
Quality of care
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
Secondary care services
Number of people who shared their views
Specific ethnicity if known
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?
Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report?
Does the information contain a response from a provider?
Is there evidence of impact in the report?
Is there evidence of impact external to the report?