London Sexual Health Transformation Programme

The London Sexual Health Programme is a unique collaboration of 29 London Boroughs looking to transform the way sexual health services are organised and provided.  This will make service better for patients, better for providers and better for the public as a whole.

On this page you can read about the history of the programme and read the very latest briefings, frequently asked questions and other materials.


Councils took on the responsibility for commissioning many sexual health services in April 2013, as part of changes under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.  The London Sexual Health Services Transformation Programme has brought together 29 London boroughs to deliver a new collaborative commissioning model for open access sexual health services across much of the capital, including Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) (services for the screening and treatment of Sexually Transmitted infections (STIs) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (SRH) (community contraceptive services).  The aim is to lead the transformation of the service model to deliver measurably improved and cost effective public health outcomes, meet the increasing demand and deliver better value. 

Why is this project necessary?

There are five main reasons why we need to bring about change in sexual health services in London. 

  1. The need for sexual health services in London is significantly higher than the England    average, and has risen significantly in recent years.
  2. There are noticeable variations in access and activity across London boroughs, with high numbers of residents from across London accessing services in central London.
  3. Given London's complex pattern of open access services, there are important advantages for London boroughs to transform and commission services together
  4. We must continue to ensure strong clinical governance, safeguarding and quality assurance arrangements are in place for commissioning open access services
  5. We want to respond to current and future financial challenges, and ensure we are making the best use of resources available

Our Vision

Our vision is for a sexual health service that provides the best service possible for patients, delivers the best outcomes and makes the very best of our resources. The front door into services will be web based, a single platform providing patients with information about sexual health, on line triage, signposting to the most appropriate service for their needs and the ability to order self-sampling tests. 

There will be fewer major centres for people with more complex sexual health needs, but the services that are commissioned will be open longer hours and will be properly linked with a network of integrated one stop shops at local level which will be able to meet many people's needs. They will also work closely with primary care. Transport links will be a critical element of determining locations for clinics.  There will also be improved data to help better identify and address need for prevention and specialist services, including new and emerging trends.

All major clinics will offer patients the opportunity to triage and self-sample on site and all services will be required to ensure that routine STI screen results are available electronically to patients within 72 hours. Patients who are diagnosed with an STI will be offered a fast track appointment, ideally within 24 hours or will be fast tracked if they present to a walk in service. Improved systems for identifying and notifying contacts of patients with an STI will ensure that resources are targeted at the highest need groups. The whole system will be designed to ensure that evidence about best practice drives changes, and resources will be focused on groups with the highest risk.

What have we done so far?

The programme team have been working since 2014 to understand the current system, listen to clinicians, patients and providers and start developing a new model for sexual health services across the capital.  A series of facilitated workshops have been held; a market testing exercise was completed and 1:1 meetings held with current and potential providers; a waiting room survey led to 1500 responses; focus groups were held to develop what we had heard.     

The timescale?

There is more information abo ut current activity in the latest monthly briefing which is available below. The plan is to introduce the new system in April 2017. 

Sexual health e-service preferred bidder announced

This news release announces the preferred bidder for London's sexual health e-service, expected to enable online access to services.

The e-service will roll out over the next few months and is the culmination of the LSHT programme and e-service procurement through 2016/17. Led by Camden and the City of London, the new collaborative board will oversee mobilisation and governance of the e-service and wider redesign of London's sexual health services.

Download the news release (.pdf, 0Mb)

End of year report

LHSTP End of Year Report 2015/2016 (.pdf, 0.1Mb)

LSHTP Clinic Waiting Room Survey

The LSHTP team developed a questionnaire survey and service users were asked to complete the survey in waiting rooms in GUM (Genitourinary) and Integrated services. A report was produced highlighting the feedback from the completed surveys.

LSHTP report on clinic waiting room survey (.pdf, 0.1Mb)

Pan-London Online Survey

This report presents the findings from a second phase of service user engagement to inform the work of the London Sexual Health Transformation Programme (following on from a waiting room survey across 12 clinics in 2015).
Headline findings from the pan-London online survey (.pdf, 0.1Mb)

LSHTP Frequently Asked Questions

The LSHTP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) sets out the main questions received about the programme and provides initial questions.
LSHTP FAQs (.pdf, 0.1Mb)

For further details on the programme please contact:

Dr Andrew HoweProgramme Director,
07535 624828

Mary ClearyProgramme
07948 506584

Mark WallCommunications 0790 999 3278

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