Sexual Health Strategy

Sexual Health Strategy

Executive Summary

The 2019 – 2024 Sexual Health Strategy sets out the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames and NHS Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group’s priorities and approach to improving sexual health locally. Poor sexual health can negatively affect the health and wellbeing of individuals and impacts on society as a whole. The effects of this are wide spread and, for those directly affected, are compounded by stigma and fear.

Poor sexual health is concentrated in vulnerable population groups, such as young people, men who have sex with men (MSM) and people from black and minority ethnic populations (BME), further marginalising these groups and perpetuating existing substantial health inequalities.

This strategy identifies actions to betaken locally to improve sexual health outcomes, reduce inequalities and promote good sexual health in Richmond. It focuses on actions relating to prevention, awareness, inequalities and primary care commissioning.

This strategy was informed by a rapid Sexual Health Needs Assessment (SHNA) undertaken in 2018. This provides an overview of sexual health in Richmond and an outline of current sexual health services. Generally, sexual health need in Richmond is relatively low compared with other boroughs in London; overall it is quite similar to national levels. However,there are specific outcomes where efforts need to be focused. Richmond has the highest rate of risky behaviour among young people in London (e.g. alcohol and drug use), which in turn can influence risky sexual behaviour. Furthermore,despite a low teenage conception rate,most teenage conceptions in Richmond end in abortion, indicating that there are unmet needs regarding contraception. Richmond also has a lower percentage of women using long-acting reversible contraception compared with the England average, with the largest number of abortions in the 35 and above age group, indicating that more needs to be done to ensure adequate education and access to contraceptives.

From our engagement with young people in summer 2018, as part, as part of the development of this strategy, they reported that lesbian, gay, bisexual,transgender, questioning and intersex (LGBTQI) issues are not included in relationships and sex education (RSE) and many were either unaware of schemes such as Come Correct C-Card Programme (the London-wide condom distribution scheme) or found them difficult to access due to the required registration process.

Stakeholder engagement has been vital to the development of this strategy and the associated action plan. A broad range of partners were involved during summer 2018, including public health,sexual health commissioners, children’s services, school nursing, Youth Council,service providers, and the voluntary sector. Through the workshops and surveys, the strategic priorities were agreed, and the associated actions were developed. The strategic priorities were based on the findings of the SHNA and are also in line with the National Framework for Sexual Health Improvement. A public consultation was also carried out in autumn 2018 on the draft strategy.

 The five strateigic priorities are:

  • Priority 1: Promote healthy sexual behaviour and reduce risky behaviour
  • Priority 2: Reduce STI rates with targeted interventions for at-risk groups
  • Priority 3: Reduce unintended pregnancies
  • Priority 4: Continue to reduce under 18 conceptions
  • Priority 5: Work towards eliminating late diagnosis and onward transmission of HIV

Through the five priorities, the strategy aims to improve the sexual health of the whole population, but it has been designed to have the greatest impact on vulnerable population groups, who are disproportionately experiencing health inequalities.

To achieve this, an action plan has been developed, with seven high-level action areas to be taken forward over the next five years:

  • Ensure accessible sexual health services for all
  • Increase sexual health knowledge across the whole population
  • Improve partnership working across the sexual health system, including communication and understanding of everybody’s role
  • All professionals working within the sexual health system receive appropriate ongoing training
  • Increase sexual health knowledge among young people and improve understanding of sexual behaviour
  • Improve awareness of sexual health services amongst residents including young people and other vulnerable groups
  • Ensure accessible sexual health services that meet the needs of at-risk groups

The local Steering Committee on Sexual Health will hold responsibility and oversee the implementation of the strategy through the delivery of the action plan.

For detail please refer to pages 25 and 26 of the full report.

Read the full document: LBRuT Sexual Health Strategy 2019-2024

See the action plan: LBRuT Sexual Health Action Plan