"Great experience of Highland Sexual Health"

About: Raigmore Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

Recently, I had unprotected sex and I was experiencing symptoms that led me to believe that I had an STI. I was incredibly concerned and started to google different STIs, and fully convincing myself that I had one. I have some medical experience and I know better than to put these things off so I decided to search for my local sexual health clinic.

I managed to find the NHS page for the clinic in Inverness and called the number to see if I could get an appointment. I spoke to a lovely lady who asked for my symptoms and advised that she would try and get me an appointment that day and would call me back. She called back within around half an hour and gave me an appointment time for that afternoon and (very helpfully) directions to the clinic.

I arrived and was given forms to fill in (very simple, very appropriate questions) and was taken in for an appointment with Dr McKenna very promptly. As soon as I saw that he was a male doctor, I was concerned (I am a 20 year old visiting a sexual health clinic for the first time!) but he very quickly made me feel at ease and comfortable. He also had a medical student in his office with him and asked if I would be okay with that, which I was. He asked me various questions about my symptoms and remained professional when I told him my, frankly ridiculous, story. He then advised that I would need an examination and he would perform some simple tests. He led me to the examination room and left me with a nurse to take some blood samples. The nurse was very sweet and we chatted while she took a sample of blood. She left the room to allow me to undress and lie on the table. The doctor came back in and he performed and examination, took some swabs and explained a little to the medical student.

After this he was fairly certain of my diagnosis, bacterial vaginosis. They, again, allowed me to get dressed and I went back to his office to discuss. He had already performed certain tests on the spot and they had come back negative but he was sending away a swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea just to be sure.

He explained his diagnosis and how it had come about and how we were going to treat it. He provided me with metronidazole vaginal gel (having first asked me if I was okay with this) and advised on dosage etc.

Overall, Dr McKenna and all the staff that were in the sexual health clinic on that day were professional, helpful and lovely throughout. I would say that going to a sexual health clinic is not at the top of people's list and I'm sure that there are many bad experiences throughout the country but I must say, it was almost an enjoyable afternoon. Do not hesitate to contact your local sexual health clinic if you believe you may have contracted any STI.

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

picture of Maimie Thompson

Dear Exstudent Nurse

Thank you for you full and enthusiastic endorsement of our service - I will be glad to feed that back to the team.


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