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Sexual health provision in Defence Primary Health Care: a model for change?


Introduction Defence Primary Health Care (DPHC) as an organisation has the responsibility for the provision of a basic level of sexual health service that every patient can access, regardless of their geographical location. The Military Advice and Sexual Health/HIV service (MASHH), based in Birmingham, provides nationally validated sexual health training and accreditation. Training was delivered to an isolated DPHC region to allow as many doctors and nurses to attend and minimised associated travel and accommodation costs. This training initiative enabled military personnel to access sexual health services within their own medical centres and reduced the number of potential referrals to local services. To assess compliance with the relevant standards, MASHH audited the DPHC region 2 months following completion of training. This was to ensure that the level 1 sexual health service provided by the DPHC region met with current British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) Standards.

Methods Provision of sexual health services in the four medical centres in the DPHC region were assessed for a 6-month period against the standards set by BASHH.

Results Few of the audit standards were met; this was in part due to personnel undertaking sexual health consultations who had not been appropriately trained and partly due to unrecognised deficiencies in the DPHC computer coding systems.

Conclusions Overall, this programme demonstrates a potential model for the cost-effective roll-out of accredited sexual health training and resultant service provision for other DPHC regions, but some changes are needed to ensure national standards are met.


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