Background Reorientation of publically funded sexual health services (PFSHS) to improve access to priority populations was a key objective of the 2006 New South Wales (NSW). STI Strategy. A network of 13 PFSHS was established across NSW in mid 1990s to support STI/HIV care and prevention without a strategic framework. Priority populations identified in the Strategy now include Aboriginal people, men who have sex with men, young people, sex workers, people with HIV/AIDS, and people who inject drugs.
Methods A multidisciplinary PFSHS working group was established within the new NSW STI Programs Unit in 2007. The group coordinated the identification of need, development and promotion of resources, support tools, online and in-perons learning packages for PFSHS staff. Recognised training providers were identified to host and assist with training coordination and evaluation.
Results Many PFSHS were unfamiliar with population health principles and their role in supporting local priority populations. Defining local roles in providing sexual health services to large numbers of young people not in other priority populations was particularly challenging. A ‘road show’ describing STIPU’s role and population health principles training was undertaken in 2007–08. Resources developed included priority population estimation and target calculators; a roles and responsibilities statement; a priority youth discussion paper; online priority population triage training; a state-wide standard operating procedures manual. Annual reports describing priority populations accessing PFSHS, outreach clinical service and educational activities assisted with implementation evaluation. From 2006–2011, NSW PFSHS increased proportions of clinical services to Aboriginal people, men who have sex with men, people with HIV; increased triaging; increased educational activities to local communities; and increased clinical outreach activities to priority populations.
Conclusion Fears of annual reports jeopardising funding arrangements were unfounded and proved supportive of local reorientation efforts by revealing service gaps. Appropriate reorientation to priority populations is occurring in NSW PFSHS.
- priorty populations
- public sexual health services
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