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STARS - Sexual Health Testing and Reproductive Health Service

This service has two facets; STI Testing and Telephone Contraception counselling.

Telephone Contraception Counselling
bpas provides high quality face-to-face contraception counselling for service users, ensuring that they are fully informed about the choices available to them and providing rapid and effective access to services.

However, it can be overwhelming for a woman seeking abortion to also consider her future contraception needs and discuss STI and safe sex concerns during the consultation process. bpas decided to pilot separating the abortion consultation from the contraception and/or STI conversation, by offering the service user the opportunity to discuss their contraception/STIs over the telephone BEFORE attending abortion consultation. The aim was to test whether separating those delicate conversations had a positive effect on the take-up rate of contraception. The pilot was a complete success improving the take up rate of LARC to an average of 60%. Commissioners who wish to improve their LARC uptake rates, might look to commissioning telephone contraception counselling as part of its abortion care pathway.

Where commissioned, those service users who book with bpas have the opportunity to speak with a Contraception/Sexual Health Nurse. The telephone consultation itself takes a holistic approach, addressing all aspects of the client’s circumstances, opinions, requirements and lifestyle, as well as their medical, family, social and contraceptive history.

All aspects of suitable contraceptive options are discussed, such as effectiveness, how each method works and its advantages and disadvantages. Myths are dispelled, and associated health issues like safe sex, cervical smears and smoking will be addressed too.

Evidence suggests that the best and most successful contraception method for a women will be the one she has chosen herself, so we make sure that every service user can be supplied with their chosen method of contraception, at the time of treatment or as soon as it is safe to do so.

Commissioners across the UK already recognise the value of bpas’ successful new telephone contraceptive and STI testing service. Feedback so far shows that service users:

  • do not feel rushed
  • feel empowered to insist on their choice because of the knowledge they have gained
  • like the opportunity to discuss contraception before the abortion
  • feel that the contraceptive nurses are very knowledgeable

Email development@bpas.org for more details.