A clinical point of view

As SH24 will work alongside two sexual health clinics (Camberwell and Burrell Street), it is extremely important that we involve the staff at both sites as much as we can in the service development.

We know that there is a difference between: what someone says they’ll do and what they actually do. Therefore the knowledge, experience and insights of the clinical staff may be closer to reality than what we have been told by users themselves.

We spoke with 11 staff across the clinics, including receptionists, health advisors and band 6 nurses. We took them through the same user journey map that we have been using with users in waiting rooms. Here are some of the more memorable insights from those discussions:

  • Downloadable/printable results would be useful for sex workers - a high risk group.
  • Re-word the sexuality question to: enter ‘gender’, then ask ‘who have you had sex with?’ This will ensure we gauge the users behaviour not who individuals are attracted to. Currently clinic staff ask ‘are you homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual etc..’ but about a third of clinic attendees at Camberwell had to ask “which one am I?”.
  • Reconsider the use of language to better communicate results, as the meaning of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ results currently confuses a lot of users.
  • Visual instructions are key, one care and support worker believed that no-one has ever read the instructions, and often they guess and sometimes 'it can go very wrong'.
  • Many staff highlighted the importance of making it extremely clear that the clinics would not share any data with GPs or other care providers and that details would not be linked to NHS numbers. They are aware lots of people do not know this when they visit the clinic.
  • There was a real call for health promotional info and advice to be available and just as well communicated online as it would be face-to-face.

There were also some concerns about the impact SH24 may have on their work and their roles, although staff primarily saw it as an exciting opportunity to offer a new route into services.

We plan to continue to attend clinical staff team meetings at both clinics, enabling us to keep them up-to-date on the progress of SH24 and build relationships with members of staff.