The sexual health community has endorsed consistency of care for users of STI services within a tough operating environment after new standards were launched.
The Health Protection Agency and top professional groups involved in management of STIs backed the new standards, which are the first of their kind. They cover all aspects of STI management, from diagnosis and treatment to infection control.
A separate publication is available for people who use STI services. This explains the quality of care entitlement, such as being offered an appointment within 48 hours, and "open access" to services, meaning the service can be used without needing the GP to be consulted.
The new standards, called Standards for the management of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), were produced by the Medical Foundation for AIDS & Sexual Health and the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH).
"These new standards represent a consolidation of best practice and the challenge now is for commissioners and STI providers to focus all our efforts on working together and implementing these standards effectively," said Dr Immy Ahmed, former president of BASHH and Project Clinical Lead for the standards.
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