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The first four years of the foundation course on sexually transmitted infections
  1. J Sherrard1,
  2. A Graham2,
  3. R Nandwani3
  1. 1Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Churchill Hospital, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Horfield Health Centre, Bristol, UK
  3. 3The Sandyford Initiative, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J Sherrard
 Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK; jackiesherrard{at}

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A cornerstone of the National Sexual Health and HIV strategy for England and Wales (2000) was the recommendation for increased primary care involvement in the delivery of sexually transmitted infection (STIF) services. Subsequent strategies for Scotland and a draft for Northern Ireland have supported this. “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say” states specifically that “the management of STIs should be developed and expanded in community settings and general practice”. Surveys have shown that undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in STIs varies greatly in the UK and virtually non-existent in some places (fig 1).

Figure 1

 Geographical distribution of UK STIF centres (2001–5)—is there a gap in your area?

To address the gap in education, the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), then the Medical Society for the Study of Venereal Disease, convened a group of clinicians including a general practitioner with an interest in education. The concept of a course, developed and administered centrally by BASHH but delivered locally, was adopted using the model of the Resuscitation Council of England. Using modern adult education theory, core learning objectives were developed for participant knowledge, skills and attitudes.

The objectives were set at a foundation level for adult learners, and a competency-based curriculum was developed. It was recognised that confidence in taking a sexual history underpins the ability to manage …

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