14 Jan 2016

Public Health

Last chance to comment on new Sexual Health Service

Authorities in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire are working together to redesign sexual health services and time is running out to have your say about the plans.

With less than 20 days to go until the consultation closes, the public are being urged to act now to get their voices heard.

Councillor Fi Hance, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods with responsibility for Public Health said: “Sexual health services are hugely important for keeping the population healthy. We want to get the public’s input so these services are fit for purpose and the best they can be – this is your chance to get your voice heard so please get in touch.”

Sexual health services office a wide range of support, advice and treatment and are used by over 20,000 people each year across the region.

Becky Pollard, Director for Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: “Improving the sexual health of the population is a public health priority. Good sexual health isn’t just about being free from infections and unwanted pregnancy – although that’s important. It is also about people having the confidence, skills and understanding to enjoy and take responsibility for their sexual lives, free from pressure and harm.

“We all want to be healthy and taking care of our sexual health is an important part of looking after our health and enjoying life.” 

Sexual health services provide information, advice, treatment and support with sex and relationships. The services are vital as sexually transmitted diseases have long-term and costly complications if not treated, and they’re entirely preventable with the right support.

Unplanned pregnancies also have a major impact on individuals, families and wider society, so sexual health services try to protect against unintended pregnancies and provide people with the information they need about contraceptive measures.

These services are free, confidential and open to everyone. The range of services offered includes: 

• testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
• advice and information about sex, relationships and other sexual health matters
• information about safer sex  and free condoms
• all forms of contraception,  including emergency contraception (sometimes known as the morning after pill)
• pregnancy testing
• HIV testing
• advice and information about abortion

The consultation is aimed at people of all ages and from all walks of life across the area – service providers, members of the public, people who use sexual health services already and health professionals who work with groups in greater need of sexual health support. It started in November 2015 and closes on 31 January 2016. Find out more and have your say at: www.sexualhealthconsultation.co.uk