Offer chlamydia checks to all under-25s, GPs told

GPs should offer chlamydia screening to any sexually active patient less than 25 years old, 'regardless of their reason for attending general practice', Public Health England (PHE) has recommended.

Urine sample (Photo: iStock)
Urine sample (Photo: iStock)

The call is outlined in PHE guidance that suggests adding chlamydia screening to the QOF to boost numbers of young people getting checked and help catch the disease earlier.

General practice has a ‘crucial role’ to play in promoting sexual health which ‘is not being fully realised’, the report says.

Most young people have easy access to their practice and the majority visit their GP at least annually, making general practice an ideal base for opportunistic screening, it argues.

Some services provided by GPs should ‘act as a trigger’ for offering a chlamydia test, such as fitting LARCs, providing emergency contraception and ‘general adolescent/youth issues’.

But GPs should also take advantage of appointments such as routine asthma checks, the report advised.

Sexual health training

The guidance encouraged GPs to undergo training to help them broach the topic of sexual health with their patients.

It said: ‘Many general practice staff have not had specific sexual health training and are often reluctant to raise or discuss issues due to a fear of causing offence, the sensitivity of the subject matter and constraints around time and expertise.

‘Training, including e-learning courses, can support GPs and practice nurses in enhancing their skills and confidence in sexual health issues.’

In 2012, 6% of chlamydia tests conducted in general practice resulted in a positive diagnosis.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Vaccination tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK have led the largest-ever NHS vaccination programme in response...

RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Hand PCNs control of primary care infrastructure funding, says RCGP

CCG funding for primary care infrastructure should be handed to PCNs when the bodies...

Professor Martin Marshall and Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall

Talking General Practice speaks to RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul

In-house review not enough to stop 'unjust' GMC referrals, warns BMA

Doctors' leaders have repeated calls for a full independent review of the GMC referral...


How widespread is long COVID in the UK?

Millions of people in the UK are living with long COVID. GPonline looks at the data...

COVID-19 vaccination sign

GP contract for autumn COVID-19 booster campaign due shortly

GP practices in England will be invited shortly to sign up for the COVID-19 autumn...