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How to assess quality in your sexual health service
  1. Emma Hathorn1,
  2. Lucy Land2,
  3. Jonathan D C Ross1
  1. 1Whittall Street Clinic, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Emma Hathorn, Whittall Street Clinic, Whittall Street, Birmingham B4 6DH, UK; emma.hathorn{at}


Previous improvements in NHS have largely focused on increasing service capacity to ensure the provision of universal, comprehensive healthcare at the point of need in the UK. However, public expectations of the NHS are changing, triggered by increased access to information and media coverage of a series of lapses in quality and geographical inequity of care. The NHS also faces the challenges posed by a changing family structure, an ageing population, advancing technology and economic uncertainty. To meet these challenges, improvements in quality rather than just quantity have become a focus of the new NHS. This article provides an overview of quality and how to measure it in sexual health services.

  • Quality
  • sexual health
  • genitourinary medicine services
  • sexual health
  • clinical STI care
  • epidemiology
  • PID
  • gum clinics
  • chlamydia
  • partner notification
  • health service research
  • vulvitis
  • vulval skin disease
  • balanitis
  • education
  • service delivery
  • genitourinary medicine services

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  • Competing interests JR is an associate editor of Sexually Transmitted Infections and chair of trustees for the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.