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Diagnosing well

Why is this a priority?

In Cheshire West and Chester we want to see more people being diagnosed early. We recognise that services may need to be redesigned, so that people with sexual health needs are diagnosed earlier which results in better health outcomes for individuals and reduced onward transmission.

Early diagnosis is especially important for people with HIV. The earlier someone with HIV starts medication, the more beneficial the medications are in helping them live well.

Early diagnosis, intervention and support are key to improving quality of life. As diagnosis is the first step, it is important to ensure there is information and advice to help people access services and support easily in a timely manner. A core aim of this strategy is therefore to ensure that effective information and support for prevention, positive decision making, and testing are readily available and accessible. This includes making the best use of digital technologies.

It is important to recognise that contact with clinicians is not to be restricted to General Practitioners (GPs) and sexual health clinics. There are a range of other professionals, for example Pharmacists, who can also provide some sexual health services.

Working with our local primary care providers (GPs, Pharmacists, Public Health Nurses, Health Visitors), secondary care providers and independent providers (midwives) and the Third sector is essential to ensure that our residents have local access at times and places that are convenient for them. Health professionals also require the necessary training to enable them to provide a range of sexual health services and be a source of information. We also want to increase education and training to enable more opportunistic screening and diagnosis. These actions will enable more people to access testing, information and support, and make positive behavioural decisions.

Outcomes

There is good quality support and information available to people from the pre-diagnosis stage and throughout the diagnosis journey and people know where to access this.

Service access is supported using a range of technology and digital opportunities (online, social media, mobile apps, postal testing).

Potential indicators

  • Chlamydia detection rate aged 15 to 24
  • New HIV diagnosis rate
  • HIV late diagnosis rate
  • Proportion of people with an STI or HIV diagnosis who receive information about condition, onward transmission, prevention and support options in their local area.

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