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About our clinics

Who will I see when I come?

When arriving at the clinic you will first need to register with reception. A practitioner will then take a sexual history from you. This often includes quite personal questions about why you have come to the clinic, any genital problems, information about your last few sexual partners and the type of sex you have. He or she may examine you and will advise you which tests are recommended. You may be advised to see a health adviser. This is routine if you have been diagnosed with an infection, have been sexually assaulted, are under 16 years of age, require short-term counselling or are worried and wish for further information regarding your sexual health. Health advisers can help you notify your partner(s) if they have been at risk of infections to encourage them to come in for testing and treatment.

How confidential is your service?

Confidentiality is really important to the running of any sexual health service. There are strict laws that we must adhere to regarding the use, sharing, disclosure, storage and transfer of patient-identifiable information. This means any personal information you provide us with will be held in the strictest confidence. Computerised information about our patients is coded and only staff within the clinic are able to access identifiable information such as your name or address.

I am under 16 year old, will my information still be confidential?

All of our services are totally confidential. You don’t need your parents’ permission and you don’t have to tell them if you don’t want to. You are also welcome to bring your parents with you to the clinic, if you choose. You will not have any information about your attendance here passed on to anyone outside of the sexual health services (like your parents, teachers, social workers, etc) without your knowing about it and agreeing to it.

In exceptional circumstances, where you or someone else is in a dangerous situation and our telling someone else may prevent you or them from being harmed, a member of staff may feel that they have to pass on information without your permission. However they would still inform you of what they were going to do.

What personal details do I have to give to register?

Some patients are reluctant to provide us with their correct name, address or contact details. We advise that you provide these details as we often need them to book your investigations (e.g. ultrasound scans), refer you to another hospital specialist or contact you to inform you that you have an infection.

Can I see a practitioner of the same sex?

Please ask at reception if you would prefer to be seen by a practitioner of the same sex as yourself. We will try to accommodate your request depending on clinic staffing that day. Or if you call in advance we can arrange it so that you see a doctor of the same sex.

Do I have to pay for treatment?

Treatment for sexually transmitted infections and contraception (including condoms) are provided free of charge.

Do you have separate waiting rooms?

No, our waiting rooms are unisex.

Will you inform my GP?

Not routinely but if you have any care/treatment that we feel the GP needs to know about we would inform him or her, but only with your consent.

What will I be tested for and how?

This depends on whether you have symptoms or not but routinely, with your consent;

Males

– Urine test and/or swabs (from the opening of your penis) for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and blood tests for HIV and syphilis. Depending on your sexual history we may also take swabs from your throat and rectum and blood tests for other infections.

Females

– Self-swabs from your vagina/urine sample for chlamydia and gonorrhoea, blood tests for HIV and syphilis. Depending on your sexual history we may also take swabs from your throat, pass a small instrument (called a speculum) into your vagina and take other swabs, and blood tests for other infections.

How do I get my results?

Some early results (gonorrhea, NSU, bacterial vaginosis, trichomonas and thrush) may be available at the end of your consultation. If you are found to have an infection on the day, treatment is provided. There are several ways of collecting your results:

  • Receive results by text message to your mobile phone - most patients will receive their text message within seven working days. All our messages are discreet. We never use names of infections or use your clinic name. If your sexual health screen was normal you may read ‘All your results are negative’. If you don’t understand the text message, phone the results line with your clinic number for clarification. Some results cannot be texted.
  • Ring the results line on the number given on your appointment card - you will need your clinic number to access your results.
Can I come for a sexual health check-up when I have my period?

Yes.