Response to Evening Standard article on oversubscribed sexual health clinics in London

sh24 STI testing kit

Response to Evening Standard article ('600 people a week turned away from oversubscribed sexual health clinics at one London NHS Trust', 28 January 2018) from Gillian Holdsworth, Managing Director of SH:24:

London urgently needs an online sexual health service that supports and strengthens capacity for the more complex cases to remain in its clinical settings, not one that weakens it through extended delays.

Clinic closures and the surge in turn-aways from sexual health clinics across the capital are a growing concern for us at SH:24.  SH:24 has been providing an online STI testing service in Lambeth and Southwark for almost three years and we continue to step in across South East London following the delayed launch of the new London-wide digital service, which has been based upon our own award-winning specification.

Our model, co-designed with service users, promotes self-management of sexual health, self-sampling for STIs with treatment and/or clinic referral as appropriate and easy access to online clinical support with advice and signposting on our website.

STI diagnostic rates have fallen in Lambeth and Southwark between 2015/16 and 2016/17 by between 8.5-10% following the introduction of our online sexual health service. We have distributed more than 54,000 home testing kits across these boroughs in the last three years for STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV and there is currently a return rate of 80%. 

We currently dispatch 1,600 orders on average per week. Last month we launched our new nationwide paid-for service, Fettle, in parallel with the free services we are commissioned by NHS Trusts and local authorities to provide in parts of south east London and other UK regions. This is in direct recognition of the high demand that continues to remain unmet for fast, anonymous and high-quality digital STI testing.

As a not-for-profit social enterprise, we want to see a sexual health service in London that is fit for purpose and ensures no-one is turned away.

Could you be our new Business Development Manager?

sh24 blood test.png

This is an exciting opportunity to join the team at SH:24 and help transform the way that sexual health services are delivered. 

About SH:24

SH:24 is an innovative and multi-award winning online sexual health service, delivered in partnership with the NHS. We make it easier for people to self-manage their sexual and reproductive health online, including getting tested for common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The service is quick, discreet and completely confidential. Service users move seamlessly between digital and physical services, with clinical excellence ensured through partnership with NHS specialist sexual health services. Our objective is to improve access to sexual health services while also realising efficiency savings through a more holistic, user-centred service. The service is designed to be flexible around the needs of users, encouraging greater autonomy, both in making decisions about their care and in navigating their preferred route through services.

The Opportunity

SH:24 was developed in Lambeth and Southwark in 2014 and since then has grown from strength to strength - now serving multiple regions across the UK. We’ve developed a strong reputation among users, partners and within the health and tech sectors and have a unique and highly engaging digital/social media presence.

We’re now looking for a creative, inspiring and motivated Business Development Manager to lead our endeavours to scale our growing portfolio of services at pace – finding new business and nurturing our existing relationships. We are looking for someone with a passion for health, tech, user-centred services, and who shares our vision to transform sexual and reproductive health services across the UK.

Core Responsibilities

You will lead our growth and support function to identify opportunities, set-up powerful partnerships, bid for work, and ultimately secure new opportunities for SH:24. You will:


  • Secure partnership agreement and sales with Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, CCGs and other relevant partners, inclusive of sub-contracting negotiations and formal bid writing
  • Build new relationships within Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and CCGs (specific to the provision of sexual and contraceptive health services)
  • Build and maintain a pipeline of new business opportunities and accurately forecast future growth potential
  • Manage procurement processes - including market engagement/testing, pre-qualification questionnaires, invitations to tender and final contract negotiations


  • Manage and nurture on-going relationships with customers and partners
  • Oversee performance monitoring and identify potential optimisation opportunities
  • Lead on the contract management of our existing portfolio of contracts
  • Prepare key materials and communications for new partners

Management/strategic development

  • Oversee all business development efforts, developing strategies and managing a data analyst to deploy pre and post contract tactics
  • Model the development and provision of localised services to partner requirements, inclusive of detailed financials (costs and savings), resources and logistics
  • Lead on the refresh and future development of our business plan

Skills & Competencies

  • A strong, proven background in strategic sales, preferably within the health sector
  • Experience of local authority procurement processes and developing relationships with commissioners
  • A deep understanding of the Official Journal of the European Community (OJEU/OJEC)
  • Experience of gathering and utilising evidence to build persuasive bids
  • Ability to assimilate, use and communicate quantitative and qualitative information to support negotiations for new business and continuing existing partnerships
  • Proven ability to manage and influence key stakeholders, maximising potential commercial relationships
  • Excellent presentation and interaction skills; written and verbal
  • A passion for numbers; processing, manipulating and displaying big data
  • Experience of gathering and utilising evidence to model new ways of working
  • Proven ability to achieve results in fast paced and ambiguous environments

If you think this might be for you please send your CV to by Friday 2nd February

SH:24 and collaborators win a Digital Leaders award

Our team had a fantastic evening at the DL100 awards ceremony last week, filled with champagne, comedy and delicious foods. It was made only better by the news that we’d won the award for Cross-Sector Collaboration of the Year! The winner was decided half by the judges and half by a public vote so we want to say a huge thank you to the panel and to everyone who took the time to vote for us.