Background The Health and Social Care Act was implemented in April 2013 and has led to tendering of Sexual Health (SH) services in England. By 2014 all of the services in our region had experienced tendering.
Aim To assess the impact of tendering on staff.
Methods Clinical leads within the region were asked to circulate an online survey to all clinical staff within the service. Details on job role, timing of tendering, results of tendering and how strongly individuals agreed or disagreed with statements about tendering were asked for.
Results There were 54 responses from individuals working within 7 services. 9 (17%) agreed with the statement “my physical health has been adversely affected”. 34 (63%) disagreed with the statement “the process of tendering has not affected my psychological wellbeing”. 39(73%) agreed with “the process of tendering has affected my enjoyment of my work”. 25(47%) had considered leaving sexual health as a result of the tender. 24(45%) agreed with the statement that they knew colleagues who had left SH as a direct result of tendering. 31(57%) agreed with the statement that their colleagues had seen less patients as result of tendering. 25(47%) disagreed with the statement “the tender has impacted negatively on how easily patients can be seen in our service”.
Conclusion This is the first survey of staff experiencing tendering and demonstrates the physical and psychological impact on them. It is important to note the potential consequences of tendering on the stability of services as trained staff seek employment elsewhere.
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