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Sexual healthcare not meeting patient expectations

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GP practices need to improve the way they deal with patients seeking sexual health treatment, according to research by University College London.

The study comparing expectations and experiences of care for sexually transmitted infections found that patients typically expected written referral or in-house treatment from their GP. However, many were not formally referred, were not given appropriate information, or perceived their GP to be “avoiding” discussing sexual health matters.

The researchers noted that in the case of a dedicated sexual health service at one GP surgery, patient expectations were well met.

They recommended patients should be formally referred to a specialised clinic where the facility was unavailable in the GP surgery setting.

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