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4 December 2008
THE CAMBERWELL Sexual Health Centre at King’s College Hospital has been awarded a prize at the Health Service Journal awards, the most prestigious healthcare management awards in the NHS.
The Centre was victorious in the Clinical Service Redesign category, which is open to healthcare organisations that have involved local people in redesigning health services.
The judges praised the project as being "ambitious and innovative", with an "impressive range of user and client involvement".
Health secretary Alan Johnson, who attended and spoke at the awards, praised the winning organisations for their excellence.
The Camberwell Sexual Health Centre, which opened in June 2007, is a unique, innovative service that provides sexual health and contraceptive advice in a revolutionary and easy-to-use format.
The £1million Centre is the first of its kind in the UK, and is the result of a major transformation project facilitated by the Sexual Health strand of the £15 million Modernisation Initiative funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity.
The Centre boasts a range of new and innovative services for service users, including a self-service machine which allows people to obtain free condoms, pregnancy testing and sexual health screening kits without the need to see a healthcare professional.
Touch-screen registration points have been introduced, whilst the traditional reception desk has been replaced by client support workers greeting and helping service users. New services like this – combined with more flexible opening hours and a visible high street presence – have increased the number of people coming through the doors of the centre.
The service has successfully attracted key target groups such as men and young people. Overall, in the first nine months of opening, there were 15,735 attendances, compared to 9,122 for the same period in the previous year, an increase of 73 per cent.
The centre was designed in consultation with local sexual health service users and makes it much easier for people to access services when they need them.
Tim Smart, Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital, said: “The centre has been an enormous success since it opened last year and this award is recognition for the hard work of our staff. The centre has proved extremely popular, helping local people access sexual health services at a time that suits them. The centre’s user friendly facilities have helped create an environment that is friendly and welcoming, and is a living example of how to modernise services so that they meet patients’ and service user’s needs.”
Geoffrey Shepherd, Chief Executive of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity added: “We are delighted that the achievements of the service have been recognised by the HSJ. The transformed service was achieved through genuine consultation with service users to become an exemplary model for the UK. This award serves as a reminder of the lasting legacy of excellence which the Charity’s Modernisation Initiative has brought about.”
The winners were announced at the Health Service Journal gala dinner on 1 December at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
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