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20 June 2017

New sexual health service launches in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire

Unity Sexual Health is a new sexual health service for people living in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

The service will offer a number of new initiatives including more evening and Saturday appointment slots in sexual health clinics, a new sexual health service in South Gloucestershire starting in early July and the ability to request self-testing kits for sexually transmitted infections (STI) online through the Unity website:

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with seven organisations - British Pregnancy Advisory Service, Brook, Marie Stopes UK, Terrence Higgins Trust and The Eddystone Trust, North Bristol NHS Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust - to deliver this new service.

People across all three regions will benefit from the local expertise of each partner organisation but the unified approach will offer benefits such as a single telephone number (0117 342 6900) across the region for people to contact the service.

Dr Helen Wheeler, clinical lead and sexual health consultant at Unity Sexual Health, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust said: "We are thrilled to be able to offer a range of new sexual health initiatives to the people of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire such as on-line self-testing. The kits will allow people to STI test at home and so offers them more privacy and control over their sexual health and wellbeing."

The self-testing kits are returned to Unity and the results will be provided confidentially.

Bristol City Council is the co-ordinating commissioner1. Speaking on behalf of the commissioning authorities, Becky Pollard, Director of Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: "We are very pleased to be working with University Hospitals Bristol to bring more cohesion to the sexual health services in the region. Unity Sexual Health service is free, confidential and open to people of all ages. It has been designed based on the needs of local people and input from the public. 

This is an excellent example of partnership working across the region and for the first time ever it has been commissioned jointly with NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups and across a broader area. This has helped to make the most of the resources available, avoid duplication, and importantly improve sexual health."