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.

Advice on the recent Hepatitis outbreak in the UK

There’s been a recent rise in cases of Hepatitis A in England - the majority of these have been diagnosed in London and two-thirds of the infections are in gay men.  There are also Hepatitis A outbreaks in other European countries, so as summer gets into full swing we thought we’d put together some information and advice on how to stay safe, whether you stay in the UK or you’re off on travels.

Cyber security at SH:24

Last week a major ransomware attack (WannaCry) infected over 230,000 computers in over 150 countries harnessing a weakness in out-of-date Microsoft software.

Victims of the attack included many large businesses as well as the NHS - as was widely documented in the media. Although many NHS Trusts were affected (which caused major disruption such as the cancelling of operations) it was a small proportion of the overall services provided by the NHS which were running up-to-date versions of Microsoft software.

Now delivering: Oral contraception online

We've been talking for a while about our bid to change the way people access contraception in the UK. Yes, after months of anticipation, hard work and testing the service with users of sexual and reproductive health services, online oral contraception is finally here (woo hoo!).

SH:24 shortlisted for a BMJ Award

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for a British Medical Journal award for innovation. We’ve been selected alongside a cohort of inspirational healthcare teams and services who work in and alongside the NHS. Here, we handpick a few of the diverse and often life-saving projects that have been nominated for this year’s awards...

Contraception cuts: looking for solutions

The concerning impact of government cuts to public health services is starting to show as it was reported earlier this week that 1 in 4 councils have cut or are planning to make cuts to reproductive health services. Although this is alarming, it is not necessarily surprising to those working in sexual health who have seen similarly dramatic consequences in their own field.

Meet the team: Donna

Recently we asked Director of Nursing, Policy and Practice at the Royal College of Nursing, Dame Donna Kinnair, if she would consider becoming our non-executive board's Chair. After some meetings with our senior team she accepted. Donna was a clear choice of chair for us because of her extensive clinical background, experience in commissioning and understanding of safeguarding, having dealt with particularly challenging cases in the Climbie enquiry.

Meet the team: Mollie

Mollie Courtenay is our service designer and researcher. She divides her time between SH:24 and Mindwave Ventures (doing some very cool projects in mental health, check them out). She's been with SH:24 since its early days and has seen lots of changes and achievements - let's get to know her a bit better...

How can we avoid making emergency contraception into a panic?

Emergency contraception made the headlines this week as newspapers revealed that the morning after pill is being sold on eBay for as little as £5. Although the coverage is welcomed, it fails to explore the complexities behind a woman’s decision to choose this risky solution. It also neglects to discuss alternative, safer options for access to emergency contraception.

Life after live

Fourteen months ago we went live with our first minimal viable product (MVP) – after a fast and furious alpha and beta we were offering real people a very real remote sexual health testing service. Service development director, Chris Howroyd, reflects on how we've optimised the service to support users and clinicians - before and after launch. 

Our impact: latest SH:24 news and data

A lot has happened since our last data round-up in October - we celebrated our first birthday in March and we’ve now processed over 10,000 orders. We’re really excited about the potential of the data we’ve gathered. Our research team are hard at work on a randomised control trial that should tell us some more about our users’ behaviour but this is what we’ve been able to learn from the data we’ve looked at so far.