"Sexual Health Clinic"

About: Solent NHS Trust

(as the patient),

I drove over 200 miles (round trip) to come to the sexual health clinic- long story as to why I didn't go to a local provider- for an implant removal and a Merina coil fitting. When we arrived at 11: 30 (an hour before the clinic opened) we were tld to wait until 12 when the receptionist would start handing out the paper work. By 12: 10 there was a room full of people and the receptionist emerged to tell us that only one of three nurses was at the clinic that day and she had lost her keys so wasn't going to be there for a little while. Great start. When we were finally all given paper work we had to go up to the desk one by one to hand it over- I was handed a Chlamydia test! Apparently it's something they require us all to do! For one, I DID NOT go there for a clap test and 2 if I had gone there for that I wouldn't be expecting a white baggy with a test to 'Do in the bathroom' that was very publicly placed in the middle of the boring waiting area. I think it was horrible and totally unnecessary. I was really offended that I was asked to do one of these tests- If I was there for it then fine but not when I was there for a birth control appointment!

After four very long hours I was finally called in to speak to the nurse. Now, I had never heard that sperm could stay alive inside for a week- I'd heard 3-5 days (and when I googled this after the appointment I again found 3-5 days. NOT 7 ) Because the removal of the Implant causes the body to return to its usual fertility state I was told that if I had the implant removed there and then there was a chance I could fall pregnant before I would have the chance to have the coil put in! Now wouldn't it have been a good idea to tell me this on the phone when I had spoken to one of the people that worked there? I believe I should have been informed that having sex within a week before could lead to pregnancy if the implant is removed within that specific time frame- and what about other young girls who haven't been informed about the possibilities? . Instead I was four hours or my life and a long 200 mile round trip for misinformation and to feel really uncomfortable. I will not be returning for the removal of the implant or the coil being put in as I feel rather uncomfortable in the clinic and misinformed.

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Response from Ann Rice, Head of Patient Insight & Professional Leadership, Solent NHS Trust

We are sorry to hear that your recent visit to the service was not a positive experience and we would like the opportunity to investigate this further, but to do so we will need further details from you. If you are happy to do so, please contact our PALs team on 0800 013 2319 or email snhs.schpatientfeedback@nhs.net.

In response to the concerns you raised, without actual details it is only possible to comment on the process in service. When you telephoned our Single Point of Access (SPA), they should have asked which area you wished to visit. Our services are across the whole of Hampshire, including Portsmouth and Southampton so it is unclear why you needed to travel 200 miles. You should also have been asked which service you required and once you identified that you had an implant and wanted a coil fitted, they should have read out a prewritten script to you which identifies that you need to ensure a reliable method of contraception is used up to the appointment for the coil insertion; therefore you should have been advised that you needed to keep the implant in until you had the coil inserted. Currently we do not have any nurses fitting coils, so a Doctor’s appointment would have been needed to be made to do this, but from your posting you indicated you saw a nurse. It would be useful to listen to your call, but we need your details to be able to do this and understand what exactly was discussed.

In regards to the test, all patients are issued with the kit regardless of reason for visit (unless they identify they have symptoms), the patient is asked to complete this but advised if they prefer to discuss with the clinician that is fine. We do this partly to destigmatise screening for those who attend the service, to meet the national screening programme (it doesn’t indicate how old you are) and also ideally a test for chlamydia is taken as if positive this can cause complications if a coil is inserted in a woman who has chlamydia.

I hope this has given you some reassurances regarding the process, but again would like to advise that we would ideally like to undertake an investigation to get a full understanding of what occurred on this occasion. We very much hope you will contact us via the our PALS team.

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