Mystery shopper finds good service in Lothian sexual health services

AS SEXUAL HEALTH awareness week gets underway, services in Lothian have been commended for offering help quickly to people with concerns.
Sexual Health Week runs from today (Monday 6th of August) and aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting yourself from sexually-transmitted infections.

A mystery shopping exercise conducted earlier this year demonstrated the high quality of help available for people with sexual health concerns in Lothian.

The Genito-Urinary Medicine Clinic at Lauriston Place, in Edinburgh, was among 21 GUM clinics in Scotland to be mystery-shopped by callers working for NHS National Services Division feigning symptoms of diseases such as chlamydia, genital ulcers, and urethral discharge.  NHS Lothian’s Family Planning Service at Dean Terrace, in Edinburgh, was among 14 clinics also targeted by the spotchecks.

Calls to the GUM clinic were answered immediately and the caller was offered a face-to-face appointment at a drop in clinic within 48 hours in three of the four mystery calls made.

In the fourth, the caller made three calls to the service, with the number being engaged or not answered, before also receiving a face-to-face appointment at a drop in clinic within 48 hours.

The Family Planning Clinic at Dean Terrace was mystery-shopped twice: it successfully offered a caller feigning chlamydia an appointment within 2 days and swiftly referred a second caller feigning genital ulcers to the most appropriate place – the GUM clinic. 

Best practice in sexual health is to see people on a face-to-face basis within 48 hours, though there is no binding government target for this measure.