Experts draw up first STI care standards for primary care

Nine STI standards of care, the first of their kind, have been drawn up to improve quality and consistency of commissioning and management of care across England.

Aimed at both primary care and specialist services commissioned by the NHS including independent sectors, the standards cover diagnosis, treatment and infection control within public health. The clinical recommendations also apply to Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Medical Foundation for AIDS and Sexual Health (MedFASH) and the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) jointly produced the standards.

There is an associated publication aimed at users of STI services, highlighting expectations and access to services.

Commenting on the standards, Ruth Lowbury, chief executive of MedFASH, said: 'The standards, which include key performance indicators, are an important tool for commissioners and providers to set measurable performance criteria and monitor outcomes for their services, whether in NHS acute, community or primary care settings, or commissioned from the independent or third sectors.'

The standards are designed to complement the DoH's forthcoming Sexual Health Commissioning Framework and Toolkit.

They also follow the 2010/11 NHS Operating Framework which places quality as the organising principle of the NHS.

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