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What to expect at the clinic

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If you have been referred

If you have been referred to us, we need your GP, or referring clinician, to fax us a letter prior to booking your appointment, including all lab results and relevant information. The information from your referrer will enable us to ensure that you are booked with the clinician best able to address your problem. We will contact you either by phone or letter to arrange your appointment once we have all of the information we need.
 
If you have painful symptoms and think that you need to be seen urgently contact us on Freephone 0800 808 602.
 

Walk-in clinic

The walk-in clinic is a first come-first serve system, which means we cannot promise you will be seen if you arrive later in the clinic, on a busy day. This is a nurse-led clinic, so in some cases you may need to be re-booked to see a doctor.
 

Registration

When you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to complete a registration form. This will only take a few minutes to fill out. If you have not been to the clinic before, or if it has been more than 1 year since your last visit, please allow 10 minutes before your appointment for filling out the paperwork. 
 
You have 2 options for recording your tests results:
 
1. You can be issued with a unique identification number which will be used instead of your name on any specimens sent to the laboratory. This means that your GP and other relevant health providers will not be able to access your results on the laboratory database.
Or…
 
2. You can have the tests done under your name and National Health Index (NHI) number. Your GP and other relevant health providers will be able to access these results.
The clinic staff can talk more about this at your visit.
 
Medical students and other health care professionals attend from time to time for training. We will always ask your permission before allowing them to attend your consultation.
 
Feel free to bring a friend with you if you wish. We do ask some personal and sensitive questions though, so you may not want them to be present in the consultation. If you require an interpreter we can provide one but we do need a minimum of 3 days notice. 
 

The consultation

A doctor or nurse will talk to you about your reasons for attending. They will ask you a number of personal questions including some personal sexual details. Although this may be embarrassing it is important that we have the correct information to allow us to perform the right tests and give you the right treatment.
 
Females usually have swabs taken from their vagina to test for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis (BV) and thrush. BV and thrush are not STIs but are common infections which can cause irritating symptoms. Swabs can be self-collected in most cases, although the nurse/doctor can take the swabs if you prefer. We recommend an examination if you have any symptoms.
 
In males, a urine sample is tested for chlamydia. Very rarely, we will need to do a urethral swab. This is important to do if we think you have gonorrhoea. It is important for males not to pass urine (pee) for at least 2 hours prior to your appointment time.
 
The samples are sent to the lab, and it usually takes several days for the results.
 
Everyone is offered and encouraged to have a blood test for HIV, Hepatitis B and Syphilis.
 
If you have any other issues relating to sexual health that you would like to discuss at your appointment please let us know.
 

Treatment

If you need treatment then we can usually provide this at the clinic free of charge.
 

Follow-Up and Results

Many problems can be dealt with in one visit, however, you may be asked to attend another appointment for additional or repeat tests (especially if the risk of infection has been recent). Follow-up visits are also required for some treatment.

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