Sexual Health London (SHL.UK) is a London STI testing service for people who have mild or no symptoms. The service also offers online contraception in over half of the participating local authorities. SHL.UK is commissioned by the City of London Corporation, through the London Sexual Health Programme, a partnership of 29 London local authorities and the City Corporation working to increase access to sexual health services. It was designed to transform the provision of sexual health services in the capital and unify sexual health service commissioning. It is succeeding on both fronts.
The award recognises the unique partnership between Preventx, the City Corporation, Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust (CWFT) and LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. At a time when the UK faces a growing burden of STIs, and reduced public health funding, this innovative partnership has never been more vital.
SHL.UK integrates with a network of London’s physical clinics using a shared EPR, robust bidirectional referral pathways overseen by CWFT clinical team, and a clinical advisory group made up of clinical leads of NHS trusts that form the SHL.UK network. It is a highly effective and collaborative process drawing on years of experience in delivering services, including how to motivate patients, how to understand their need and how to communicate with them. CWFT’s clinical expertise is crucial, supporting design and delivery of an exceptional service.
More than two million kits have been ordered through SHL.UK, with more than 60,000 kit orders each month. The kit return rate is 80%, with negative results returned within two working days. In the case of a positive STI result, this is sent to the service user within three days, with a 99% success rate. Individuals receiving a positive result from the service effectively transition to clinic for ongoing care and treatment if necessary. Over half of SHL service users are repeat customers, with 98% saying they would recommend it to family and friends.
The SHL.UK partnership continues to have significant benefits, enabling more people to test at home and helping clinics that face capacity pressures to focus resource on those who need the service most.
Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Community and Children’s Services Committee, Ruby Sayed, said: “SHL.UK was introduced to help local authorities to manage increased demand for sexual health testing in a context where funding was flat or reduced. It has enabled us to provide more care with the precious resources that we have. It has also helped support the resilience of the wider system in ways that we couldn’t imagine. We are thrilled to be recognised by HealthInvestor for our SHL.UK partnership. We look forward to building on this success in the years to come.”