Introduction Cost effectiveness is an important consideration especially in the context of constrained budgets. For the National Chlamydia Screening Programme, doubling Partner Notification (PN) was modelled to reduce the cost per diagnosis by £60 and improves gender equity (Turner et al, BMJ. 2011; 342:c7250. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c7250); however, it is not known how PN impacts on a less common but growing Syphilis epidemic. We therefore looked at the impact of PN for patients with Syphilis using a new PN tool.
Methods The Syphilis diagnoses and testing for one year from February 2016-2017 were determined for two clinics, prices for testing and PN were derived from the integrated sexual health tariff (www.pathwayanalytics.com) and PN data was obtained from SXT (www.sxt.org.uk).
Results The Syphilis incidence was 257/30,641 and the cost of a full screen £75; consequently, the cost per Syphilis diagnosis was £8,941. Ten percent of patients coded as partners were found to be infected with Syphilis. The PN outcomes of 248 (96%) patients with early infectious Syphilis were known: 132 partners were verified as seen and tested (KPI=0.53), representing 13 new diagnoses. The cost to deliver PN was £4903 [248*(£17.33 tariff & £2.40 SXT)] and ten partners need to test at £750 [10*£75] to diagnose one case, making the overall cost per Syphilis diagnosis £5,653. PN initiated testing was estimated to reduce the cost per syphilis diagnosis by £3,288.
Discussion PN services reduce the cost to diagnose Syphilis and support case finding. More work is required to target testing and improve PN.
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