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Are one-stop shops acceptable? Community perspectives on one-stop shop models of sexual health service provision in the UK


Objectives: Traditionally, genitourinary medicine (GUM) and contraceptive services have been provided separately. Providing these services on one site, as a one-stop shop, has been suggested as a way of improving access to care. There is little evidence about the acceptability of such an approach. We aimed to assess acceptability of different one-stop shop models (a young people's, an all ages (mainstream) and a general practice service) of sexual health provision among different community groups.

Methods: Between April and December 2005, 19 semi-structured interviews and 14 focus groups were conducted with young heterosexual men (n = 48), men who have sex with men (MSM; n = 46) and minority ethnic men and women (n = 28) across England.

Results: Knowledge of one-stop shops was limited. The concept was acceptable to participants (except MSM), although there was variation as to the preferred model. Young men and African individuals described distrust of general practice confidentiality, preferring young people's or mainstream models, respectively. South Asians associated stigma with GUM, preferring instead a general practice one-stop shop. Regardless of model, respondents expressed preference for one provider/one session to provide GUM and contraceptive care.

Conclusion: In terms of acceptability there can be no blue print one-stop shop model. Local assessments should determine whether a one-stop shop would have public health benefit and if so how best one should be set up to maximise access. To accommodate client preference for one provider/session for their sexual health needs it may be that the development of “integrated training” for providers across clinical specialities is a more realistic way forward.

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