The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has issued an updated quality standard focusing on sexual health, particularly prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with respect to high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.
The key goals of the quality standard are improvements in the following areas:
- Incidence of STIs;
- Early diagnoses of STIs;
- Condom and lubricant use;
- Experience of using sexual health services.
The quality standard covers the following 6 recommendations:
- Individuals should be enquired about their sexual history at key points of contact.
- Individuals deemed at risk for STIs should have a discussion regarding prevention and testing.
- Local authorities should set up condom distribution schemes tailored to the requirements of their populations.
- Individuals contacting a sexual health service about a STI should be given an appointment within 2 working days.
- Ongoing testing every 3 months is recommended for 'men who have sex with men' if they have a high risk for STIs.
- Individuals diagnosed with a STI should be encouraged to notify their partners.
Health professionals should also take into consideration the quality standards on HIV testing: encouraging uptake, Physical health of people in prisons, Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing, Contraception and Hepatitis B when providing services for sexual health.