A scaled-back version of community sexual & reproductive health services will be implemented from Monday 30 March in order to protect those aspects of the service considered critical, such as emergency contraception.
Practices can assist in this process by ensuring they’ve signed up to the data sharing agreement allowing PCS clinical pharmacists to issue emergency hormonal contraception and POP via their GP clinical system.
In considering both guidance from FSRH which extends substantially the longevity of coils and implants in situ, and taking into account pressures being placed on the service presently, the decision has been taken to cease temporarily all Depo injections and routine LARC fittings and removals.
Essential services will continue or be expanded as follows:
- We will expand our capacity to give contraception advice over the telephone. Our team of sexual health specialist doctors and nurses will operate a telephone call-back service from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays for:
- general contraception advice
- advice on complications with recent LARC fits
- pregnancy choices counselling and referral to Ward G1
- POP initiation counselling
Patients can make appointments directly by calling 0114 226 8888.
- Our clinical pharmacists will continue to offer remote issue of EHC via the patient’s own GP clinical system. Patients can self-refer to this service by calling 0114 226 8888.
PCS clinical pharmacists will:
- offer EHC/coil counselling
- for females aged 16+, prescribe EHC and issue remotely via EPS
- for females aged under 16, refer them to STH’s youth clinic or an approved community pharmacy for a face-to-face appointment
- issue 3/12 POP under the recommendation of a specialist doctor or nurse
- book appointments for emergency coils
- Our specialists will continue to fit emergency coils and see patients with complications. While available resource permits, we will hold up to three sessions a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays initially at Sloan Medical Centre and Darnall Primary Care Centre.
*Our approved community pharmacies are authorised to issue EHC free of charge, under PGD, to females aged 14-25. Pharmacies in Crystal Peaks, Heeley Retail Park and Meadowhall will come online shortly.
These changes represent a small amendment to the data sharing agreements in place as they now include prescribing of POP in addition to EHC. In the current circumstances, and in light of the ICO’s guidance, we don’t propose to spend valuable admin time – here and in practices – processing amended agreements. This position will be monitored and reviewed in due course.
Please continue to direct patients for general advice, including asymptomatic STI testing and self-testing, to our website at sexualhealthsheffield.nhs.uk
If you have any questions please direct them to Chris Thornton at email@example.com
A significant proportion of our nursing staff are unable to attend work presently due to self-isolation. Despite this, services have continued largely uninterrupted thanks to colleagues volunteering to cover shifts.
Inevitably, LARC activity within general practice will decrease in order for clinicians to cope with the demand for urgent care. However, we would ask practices to maintain as much LARC activity (and wider contraception services, EC and TOP counselling) as possible please whilst acknowledging that this may be difficult.
We have prioritised (in this order) the following aspects of the community service:
1. Emergency contraception (EC) telephone service (accessible via SPA 0114 226 8888)2. Nurse-led telephone triage, contraception advice and TOP counselling (accessible via SPA 0114 226 8888)
3. Fitting of emergency IUDs
4. Routine LARC services
Where individual practices are unable to cope with demand, where possible please liaise with neighbouring practices for assistance prior to directing patients to SPA.
The transition of practice contracting to PCN contracting presently timed for 1 April 2020 is suspended and we will work with PCNs to agree a new timetable in due course.
For the latest information regarding access to emergency contraception visit http://www.sexualhealthsheffield.nhs.uk/services/emergency-contraception/