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We have reached three important new milestones for sexual health services in London since my last newsletter.

At the start of June, the online portal for London Sexual Health opened for direct registration and kit orders.  This means that new and returning users for the online service do not need to order kits through clinic websites or in clinic, but instead can directly order kits through the SHL website.  The London HIV Prevention Programme, which has just launched its latest Do It London campaign, also includes a direct link to the site.

Fast forward a month, and I’m delighted that our colleagues in South East London successfully went live with the London SHL service in their local clinics. The service launched simultaneously at clinics across Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Bromley on 2nd July.  This service enables eligible users to collect a kit from a clinic “there and then” or choose for it to be delivered. This marks the culmination of the roll-out of the online service across all participating boroughs and clinics, which began in January at The Homerton, Hackney.

And a third milestone has been reached -  SHL kit orders surpassed the 25,000 mark by the 15th July.  

We have been receiving lots of positive feedback about the SHL service, which we cover through this newsletter.

If you have any specific queries about the Programme do get in touch with the team.

Very best,
- Jonathan O'Sullivan, Director of Sexual Health
Jonathan O'Sullivan, Director of Sexual Health, presenting at the Partnering Board, in the Livery Hall, Guildhall, London.

On 4th June, Dr Ruth Hutt, chaired the inaugural E-service Partnering Board. Attendance was excellent with clinical, commissioning amd provider teams participating from across London.

Key feedback on progress over the first few months from the Prevetnx led consortium included:

  • Positive feeback from service users
  • Kit return rate
  • Number of users having chlamydia treatment at home or via community pharmacies without the need to go to clinic, is steadily rising
  • The service's verified partner notification rate is significantly better than national standards
The second half of the meeting was a roundtable discussion where clinicians were able to share their experiences of the mobilisation, key learnings, successes, challenges and opportunities for the coming year. 

Chair of the Partnering Board and Director of Public Health for Lambeth, Dr Ruth Hutt explained:

“It was a pleasure to chair this event, and it proved to be a real opportunity to bring together key stakeholders of the e-service, reflect on how far we have come and hear about their experiences to date. I’m encouraged by the emerging positive feedback and the stories of successfully treated service users.  There is a clear commitment from sexual health clinicians to ensure the e-service works as effectively as possible with their own clinic provision and pathways. As ever, there is still more work to do  and the opportunity to make the service even better.

All comments and suggestions will be considered as we continue to embed the service over the coming year and we are really grateful for this early feedback to drive improvement and full implementation of the SHL service.  I am looking forward to hearing more success stories and feedback at the next Partnering Board in January.”

In July, the London Sexual Health team presented at the King’s Fund Digital health and care conference 2018.  This was an opportunity to share learning with other digital health services in this rapidly developing field and reflect on progress to date with our own service.  The strong focus through the development of the online sexual health service on the needs and experiences of service users drew particularly positive comment.
Finally, the team participated in the Fast-Track Cities event on 13 July.  The event brought stakeholders from across London together to focus on the goal of eliminating new HIV infections in the capital by 2030: zero stigma, zero transmissions, zero deaths.  Participants were encouraged to identify assets and gaps in tackling HIV and improving outcomes and heard about international examples of how cities can work together to successfully address health issues.  Dr Jose M. Zuniga, President and Chief Executive of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, gave a closing speech reflecting on the progress and challenges internationally of achieving the goals of Fast-Track Cities.  The event will help inform next steps to help London achieve its 2030 ambitions.
What users of SHL have
been saying...
With the launch of the e-service Twitter handle - @shldotuk - the Programme team have been receiving some great tweets, below is a selection of what we've received:

"This is so good girls n boys U can now get tested without d need of waiting in the clinic for ages! sends test kit to ur home n u just post it back #sexualhealth #gumclinic #NHS @NHSEngland @shlondonclch #Brent " - @hkphoto_graphic

"THIS IS MAJOR. Great option too for those who are "scared" to go to clinic" - @_ivanglez

"Hi guys. So yesterday I went to get my every three months STD test and the nurse told me about which is London's new online sexual health service. So for those with no time to sit around waiting for a clinic appointment and no symptoms. This site is great." - @BrokenPPodcast 
Dr Sean Perera – Clinical Lead for Sexual Health at Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor

Sean is the Lead Clinician for the remote chlamydia treatment service at Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor (LPOD).  He first got into sexual health after being awarded an NIHR Academic Fellowship at The Elton John HIV Research Centre in Brighton and his career path to this day has been inspired by the late Professor Martin Fisher whom he worked for.

As the principal clinical contact at LPOD, Sean has oversight for the treatment service from clinical aspects to any issues raised during its day-to-day running.
Sean explains the treatment pathway for LPOD: "After patients are deemed suitable for chlamydia treatment through LPOD, they complete an online consultation that is based on a clinical algorithm built by LPOD’s clinical team. A clinician then assesses these answers before issuing a prescription."
Sean's Day

“My working day typically starts at 8am, by which time I'm usually on my third cup of coffee as I work between London and Brighton. A normal day involves responding to clinical issues raised by the recall advisors via telephone or our dedicated email inbox. I respond to any issues raised by clinicians who are assessing consultations, as well as those escalated by customer services after patients contact them via their patient record or the dedicated customer service helpline.

“Patient queries are varied and include how partner notification is conducted, concerns about pregnancy and clarification about rationale behind treatment orders being rejected.

“I also work in the background doing regular audits to ensure that the service we provide continues to be safe and efficient.

“My two favourite parts of this job are: working collaboratively with a great team, and the regular audits of the LPOD treatment service - it quantifies the large number of patients that we have helped and has highlighted some important areas for service development."

Find out more about Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor here

At the end of June, the London Sexual Health team were invited to the Houses of Parliament on one of the hottest days of the year. Adrian Kelly, Lead Commissioner presented to the ‘All Party Parliamentary Group on sexual and reproductive health’ on the e-service describing why it was developed and how it works, as well as how it is currently performing and feedback from service users.

The presentation highlighted how the online service is working with sexual health clinics who will continue to provide the majority of testing and care across London.  Members were very interested to learn more about the service and hear about the experiences. During discussion, it was noted that London is building a world class e-service and there was positive feedback on the service .
Please pass this briefing on to any others who you think would be interested.  If you or a colleague would like to receive the Sexual Health London E-service newsletter, please add contact information to our distribution list by following the link here

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