The National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV aims to facilitate improved patient access to sexual health care, primarily in general practice. This study aimed to identify sexual health care provision in GP training practices and highlight training and resource implications of the strategy for GPs and prospective GPs.

Data were gathered from interviews with five key representatives and a self-completed questionnaire survey of all 374 GP trainers in the West Midlands region. The questionnaire was developed from the interviews and comprised three sections.

Most GP trainers returned completed questionnaires. Most respondents were already offering some ‘Level 1 services’ or were prepared to include cervical screening, sexual history taking, STI testing, HIV testing, and contraceptive services. However, most needed further information on the Strategy detail and its implications. Training needs in sexual history taking, STI testing and HIV testing were also highlighted. Most GP trainers believed GP registrars were relatively unprepared for sexual health care and proposed improved training and assessment. Appropriate nurse training should also be provided.

The study concluded that although 82% of respondents would implement the Strategy if adequately resourced, considerable training and support needs were identified.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/31/3/213