Professor John Macleod looks back at the work of the Sexual Health Improvement for Population and Patients Health Integration Team (SHIPP HIT) during 2013-14.
The NHS reforms have led to 2013-14 being a challenging year for sexual health services across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester, the constituency of the Sexual Health Improvement for Population and Patients (SHIPP) HIT. The major commissioning responsibility for services now lies with Public Health in their new home within the local authority. Fortunately, the lead commissioner for sexual health has continued to play a lead role within SHIPP in ensuring our work reflects local priorities highlighted in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
In 2013 Bristol was successful in its bid to the NIHR for £3.8 million to lead a Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in collaboration with Public Health England. Evaluation of interventions to improve sexual health is a key theme within the HPRU and the unit will provide additional support for our work; in particular our piloting of centralised telephone-based management of cases of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea diagnosed in the community, our evaluation of different strategies for earlier diagnosis of HIV and our evaluation of Patient and Public Involvement policy as an intervention.
In 2013-14 all these work-streams have progressed according to the plan that formed the basis for our approval as a HIT. In the next year we will submit applications for funding of follow on projects in these and other areas. We will also continue to work with CLAHRC West and the AHSN to put the evidence we generate into practice.