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Make the Right Call: Expert sexual health advice is given with tact and sensitivity

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 August 2014

(c) Keith Brofsky

This week, for our Make the Right Call campaign, which aims to direct people towards the right healthcare provider – whether it is a GP, pharmacy, NHS 111 or A&E, we take a look at sexual health services in Suffolk. Health correspondent Lauren Everitt reports.

Suffolk Sexual Health provides a free, confidential service offering contraception, sexual health advice, testing and treatment.

The service does not operate in Waveney as services there are delivered by East Coast Community Healthcare CIC.

All clinics are self-referral, which means a GP referral letter is not necessary, and men and women can attend.

You can either make an appointment by calling 0300 123 4567 or attend a ‘walk-in’ session which does not require an appointment, although there may be a wait during busy periods or a return appointment to see a different clinician. The service is also open evenings in various locations and on a Saturday morning in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

The service in Ipswich recently opened the Orwell clinic, on the former Holywells School site in Lindbergh Road, which means patients can access all aspects of sexual health, including contraception, HIV care, STI testing and treatment in a single location in Ipswich for the first time.

In Bury, services are located on two sites, West Suffolk Hospital and Blomfield House Health Clinic.

Staff are trained to provide professional advice and care to meet individual needs with tact and sensitivity, respecting the diversity of all clients. All information given is confidential.

The service offers:

n Advice and free supply of all forms of contraception including, pill, condoms, emergency contraception, implants, coils, injections and caps.

n Advice, information, counselling, and referral for further care (where appropriate) on all sexual health related matters including preparation for pregnancy, unintended pregnancy and sexual problems

n Screening for all sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

n Diagnosis and treatment of STIs

n HIV screening, diagnosis and treatment

n Hepatitis B testing and vaccination

n Partner notification

n Treatment of other genital conditions

Clinic locations

Clinics offering a range of services across the week to suit individual needs and requirements are available in:

n Ipswich

n Bury

n Felixstowe

n Stowmarket

n Haverhill

n Mildenhall

n Newmarket

n Sudbury

n Thetford

Chlamydia Screening for Under 25s

All under 25s are encouraged to have regular screening for chlamydia under the National Chlamydia Screening Programme. It is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections which often has no symptoms but can cause serious long term health problems such as infertility.

Call 01473 228723 to find out where you can do a test, order a home test kit or visit www.amiclear.com.

Terrence Higgins Trust Suffolk

The service also works in partnership with the Terrence Higgins Trust in Suffolk to provide community-based sexual health services including condoms, chlamydia screening, rapid HIV testing, sexual health advice and signposting, including:

n Sex and relationships education and targeted outreach for young people. This includes running the c-card condom distribution scheme (free condoms for those aged 13-25), chlamydia screening in pubs and clubs and sexual health education in a range of youth settings.

n HIV and sexual health promotion for the wider Suffolk community. Terrence Higgins Trust offers free condoms, support around sexual health concerns, targeted work with at risk groups, online information and advice and free sexual health training for community groups and professionals.

Email sexualhealth suffolk@tht.org.uk for more information.

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