Background/introduction In September 2013 four services merged to form a new integrated sexual health (ISH) service under a new NHS provider following a tender process.
Aim(s)/objectives To ascertain staff experience of the tender process and integration of sexual health services.
Methods All staff were asked to complete an online survey in 01/2015 (via SurveyMonkey®). Staff who did not transfer to the new NHS provider or who left the service before 01/2015 were not included.
Results 23/38 (61%) staff members (including medical, nursing, administrative and allied health professionals) responded. 5/23 (22%) were entirely/predominantly from a genitorurinary background and 9/23 (39%) entirely/predominantly contraception background. 16/23 (70%) worked at one of the four previous services. Staff experience of the tender/integration process in terms of ‘stress’/’excitement’ levels are reported in the Table 1.
14/22 (64%) of staff believe that SH services should be integrated. 17/22 (77%) feel patients are now getting a better service (with further improvements needed).
Themes Main ‘positives experienced’: new skills gained, increasing integration/offer of a ‘one-stop-shop’ service. Main ‘challenges experienced’: resistance to change, clash of specialty ‘cultures’. The predominant ‘suggestion for improvement’ was better communication with all staff throughout the process.
Discussion/conclusion The experience of the tender process and early months in the new ISH service was stressful for many staff. This improved with time and staff reported feeling increasingly excited about the new service. Better communication from commissioners and service providers to all staff involved may improve the overall experience of those going through the process in the future.
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