A consultation is under way on proposals for the delivery of sexual health services in North Yorkshire over the next ten years.
For almost five years, North Yorkshire County Council’s public health team has worked with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (YTHFT) to provide YorSexualHealth.
In this time, the service has provided more services and established centres and clinics across the county; introduced online testing; improved training for all nursing and medical staff; brought specialist elements of the service together in the same location; and treated many more people who previously would have travelled outside the county.
The County Council and YTHFT are now running a joint consultation on plans to continue the partnership for up to ten more years.
County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, said: “Sexual health matters to most of us, yet it can be overlooked. It’s not just about preventing disease. It also means promoting good sexual health in a wider context, including relationships, sexuality and sexual rights. Good sexual health is vital to our health and wellbeing.
“Overall, compared to other areas in England, North Yorkshire has some good sexual health outcomes. However, there are issues and challenges. For example, rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to increase both locally and nationally, particularly chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhoea.”
STIs remain highest among young people and men who have sex with men and rates are increasing among the over-55s.
Cllr Dickinson added: "Our partnership with YorSexualHealth has meant better services, provided more locally.
“Even though the Government is reducing public health funding to all councils, we want to invest now, for the long-term, so that we can build on the success that has been achieved with our colleagues at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.”
Wendy Scott, Chief Operating Officer at YTHFT, said: “We have successfully provided a range of high-quality, easily accessible sexual health services over the last five years, and we welcome the opportunity to build on this success in strong partnership with the County Council.”