Community team improving the sexual health of vulnerable women

Two teams of community nurses in south London who give contraceptive help, sexual health advice and screening to vulnerable local women have been recognized for their contribution to sexual health in the community.

The Health Inclusion (Three Boroughs Team of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham) and Sexual Health Outreach team work in partnership in south London to give contraceptive advice and support to young women who are sex workers and at risk of unplanned pregnancies.

The teams provide health care services at hostels, hospitals and nurse-led clinics, and help those who find it difficult to access health services as a result of not having a permanent address.

Through training hostel staff and visiting hostels once a week, the Three Boroughs Team has provided significant advice and support for women in need. The provision of certain medications through patient group directions and information on available contraception options has helped reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies in young women.

The women staying at the hostels have given positive feedback on the scheme. ‘These women feel valued because specialists were sent in,’ said Amy Hall, a nurse practitioner at the Three Boroughs Team. ‘Many of these women don’t think of these ideas until it is too late and so it is great for them to have the option.’

Eileen Sills, chief nursing officer and CEO at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust congratulated the team for their work helping vulnerable women. ‘The team make a real difference to the lives of the young women they see in the hostels, supporting them to make healthier lifestyle choices and to think about when to become pregnant. We’re very proud of their excellent work.’

Taken from Practice Nursing, published 18 Feb 2013.

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