Practices 'cheaper than GUM clinics at treating STIs'

GPs can treat STIs more cheaply than genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics, suggests analysis of a local enhanced service.

Study of the impact of a LES for treating STIs in City and Hackney PCT in East London showed that treating chlamydia and gonorrhea costs £930 per positive case in the primary care setting. The comparative price for GUM clinics in the borough was £1,405.

However, when treatment of all types of STI was considered, GUM clinics cost £630 per case. An equivalent figure was not available for GP practices, although a full range of STIs was managed in both settings. 

The LES was introduced by the PCT in April 2004 and was joined by 32 of 51 practices in the area. Data is for 2004/5.

LES practices made eight times the number of positive chlamydia diagnoses made by non-LES practices.

Training, a local STI treatment booklet, fast-track referral to GUM clinic and a sexual health GPSI were provided under the LES. But the GUM clinic was paid £182 per first visit by a patient and £104 per follow-up. 

The cost of testing one chlamydia sample and one gonorrhea sample was £14.98 at both venues.

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