Introduction Over the Rainbow is a community based LGBT support service and level 3 GUM clinic in Bournemouth, currently under threat due to funding cuts. In May 2016, a patient consultation was undertaken to explore alternative options for service provision.
Methods A survey was distributed online and in clinic to capture views on the provision of local sexual health services for MSM.
Results 96 people responded to the survey after visiting the service for STI screening (60%) or one to one support (40%). 40% of these would not be happy attending a mainstream GUM or CASH clinic, or GP for STI screening. 34% would not be happy to access STI screening on-line. One third would be unwilling to attend alternative agencies for counselling or support.
80% of the 86 online respondents had attended Over the Rainbow in the past. Responses indicated that even fewer (44-56%) would be happy to attend a mainstream GUM or CASH clinic or GP for STI screening, with a similar proportion reluctant to attend other community settings.
Comments highlighted that service users valued a dedicated LGBT service, in the heart of the gay community. It was described as a safe haven.
Discussion Future service design and provision must consider community need. Patients expressed a preference for LGBT specific community based services, able to accommodate their sexual health needs within a holistic framework. Many value a face-to-face consultation rather than accessing STI screening on-line.
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