When you visit
When you visit the sexual health service, you will check in at the reception desk and take a seat in one of the waiting areas.
We to see you within half an hour of your appointment time. Sometimes this is not possible if a clinic is running behind and you need to be seen by a specific member of the clinical team.
During your appointment
Depending on the reason for your appointment, you may be seen by a health care support worker, a nurse or a doctor.
You may be offered an examination and microscopy tests which we perform on-site. If this is the case, we may ask you to sit back in the waiting room until your results are ready.
Any medication prescribed and available in clinic will be given to you before you leave, free of charge. If we do not have the medication in clinic, we will write a hospital prescription for you to collect at the Lloyds Pharmacy in the hospital's main entrance, which is also free of charge.
What do examinations involve?
Before any intimate examination, we will always offer you a chaperone.
A chaperone is a specially trained person who is asked to be present during an intimate examination to support both the patient and the doctor or nurse, and to be a witness of the examination.
If you have a vagina
If you have symptoms or pelvic pain when you arrive at the clinic, we would offer an intimate examination to provide us with valuable information to help make a diagnosis.
This involves a speculum examination. This is very similar to having a smear test. It shouldn’t be painful but can be a little uncomfortable and only takes a few moments. We do this to have a look at the cervix and the walls of the vagina. We use a soft cotton bud to take samples to have a closer look under the microscope.
If you have a penis
Depending on your symptoms, we may offer you an examination.
This will involve examining the testicles to check for any lumps or painful areas, looking behind the foreskin and using a very small cotton bud to take a sample from the tip of the penis which takes only a second. There is no scraping, it doesn’t go all the way down and there definitely are no hoops or umbrellas.
After your appointment
We will often ask you for feedback in paper form or online survey. If you have time please try and complete these as your feedback allows us to reflect on what we are doing well and ways in which we can improve the service.
Your test results will be sent out to you by text, unless told otherwise.
All of your information and records are highly confidential. Your notes and personal details remain in our clinic and are not revealed to anyone outside, except in very rare circumstances. In these cases we’ll ask your permission beforehand.
To enhance confidentiality, our department has a separate computer system which cannot be accessed by any other department within the hospital. Your records cannot be seen by your GP either.
Will you tell my parents or my GP (doctor)?
No. We won't tell your parents or your doctor. If you are under 18 and we are concerned about your safety, we will talk to you and discuss your options before talking to anyone else about you.
Will anyone see my records?
No. The notes of anyone who comes to our hospital site clinic are kept on a secure computer in our clinic and are not available to any other hospital staff. We have a separate computer system from the rest of the hospital, so no-one else can view our files.
I know someone that works in the hospital. Will people be able to tell who I am from my test samples?
All laboratory samples at the hospital site are processed based on your date of birth and an individual number. No names are used.
Will you mention my name?
The only time we will use your name is to call you in from the waiting room and when we can, we try to use your first name only.
We will not give any information to anyone about you or even say that you have visited the clinic when asked. This includes the police, your relatives, your partner, social workers or any other patients.