Information for patients on having a trainee present during a consultation/procedure within the Devon Sexual Health Service

We regularly have staff working in the clinics who are undergoing training. These trainees can include;

  • qualified doctors who are at various stages of their careers; some will have qualified a year or two previously, others will be more advanced in their training for example training to become a GP
  • local GPs who are doing additional training e.g. to fit coils (IUCDs)
  • qualified nurses who are undertaking specific training e.g. fitting or removing contraceptive implants
  • medical students.

Whilst we appreciate how important it is for our future NHS staff to be fully trained, we also want patients to feel comfortable with the staff members they will meet.Therefore;

  • we will let you know at the start of your appointment if we have staff in the clinic who are undergoing training. This is regardless of whether you have a phone, video or face-to-face consultation
  • we will give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about the training or the trainee
  • we will ask whether you are happy to have a trainee present as part of your consultation. If you would prefer not to, this will not affect your care in any way.

We will always ask for your consent first before your consultation starts. It’s important for us that you have the opportunity to consider your decision so you are comfortable with your consultation and any treatment you may need.

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Accessing our service during the COVID pandemic

How to access our service:

We have now implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Please contact our services to access this triage system. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

If you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus please do not attend the clinic. Clear advice for people with symptoms of coronavirus is available at nhs.uk/coronavirus .

Advice from our service:

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.

We are currently prioritising these groups for coil and implant (LARC) fits:

  • Those with vulnerabilities including but not limited to those who are: <18, attending abortion and maternity services, homeless, sex workers, victims of sexual assault, people with language barriers, drug and alcohol problems, learning disability, serious mental illness
  • Those aged <30 years

More details on LARC fittings at our service are found here

There is also specific advice on coronavirus available for People Living with HIV here, and for pregnant women here

Self-requested Sexual Health screening by post is available for for under 25s only - more info here

For others with testing requirements please contact the service on 0300 303 3989.

Information is now also available to advise on sexual contact during a time of social distancing here.

Alternative provision:

Please be aware that we may have to cancel, rearrange or shut clinical services in response to changing clinical and staffing pressures created by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - at your local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV postal testing - available to at-risk groups for a small fee -  more info
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info