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One stop shop versus collaborative integration: what is the best way of delivering sexual health services?

Abstract

Objectives: To examine various models of integrated and/or one stop shop (OSS) sexual health services (including general practice, mainstream specialist services, and designated young people’s services) and explore their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Methods: Literature review and interviews with key informants involved in developing the National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV (n = 11).

Results: The paper focuses on five broad perspectives (logistics, public health, users, staff, and cost). Contraceptive and genitourinary medicine issues are closely related. However, there is no agreement about what is meant by having “integrated” services, about which services should be integrated, or where integration should happen. There are concerns that OSSs will result in over-centralisation, to the disadvantage of stand alone and satellite services. OSS models are potentially more user focused, but the stigma that surrounds sexual health services may create an access barrier. From staff perspectives, the advantages are greater career opportunities and increased responsibility, while the disadvantages are concern that OSSs will result in loss of expertise and professional status. Cost effectiveness data are contradictory.

Conclusion: Although there is a policy commitment to look at how integrated services can be better developed, more evidence is required on the impact and appropriateness of this approach.

  • GUM, genitourinary medicine
  • OSS, one stop shop
  • integration
  • one stop shop
  • sexual health
  • contraception
  • sexually transmitted diseases
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