The providers of NHS-funded sexual health services across Essex have been awarded a new contract for at least another seven years.
Following an open tender process, Essex County Council have granted Provide CIC a renewed seven-year contract to coordinate Essex Sexual Health Service, with an optional three-year extension.
“We’re proud to have been recognised for the quality of services we’ve already delivered, as well as our innovative plans to support the sexual health needs of the people of Essex for the next seven-to-ten years” says Vicky Waldon, Chief Commercial Officer.
Provide CIC and the clinicians, service providers and sexual health charities with which they partner, have delivered support including STI testing and treatment, access to contraception and public sexual health campaigns since 2016.
As part of the regular tender process, Provide CIC’s proposal was considered again submissions from other organisations who deliver similar sexual health services across the UK.
“Against such experienced competition, we’re delighted the commissioner’s have faith in our ambition to engage more and more with every section of our community to champion good sexual health” adds Michelle Parker, Director – Business Development & Strategic Partnerships.
In particular, Provide CIC were recognised for their support of younger and at-risk groups, including engaging young people in decision making.
“It’s important to remember sexual health issues affect all ages, but supporting and educating young people is particularly vital to achieving good long-term sexual health outcomes” states Sue Luty, Interim Operational Lead for Sexual Health.
Provide CIC and Essex Sexual Health Service are one of the only regions in the UK to have created a dedicated smartphone app to help under 25’s engage with their free condom programme.
Promotion of the eC-Card app has included advertising inside buses and on bus shelters, digital screens and streaming services including Spotify.
Essex Sexual Health Services new contract will last from April 2023 until April 2030, with an option to extend a further three years if standards are met.
A number of new initiatives and campaigns have already commenced, including Essex Sexual Health Service’s introduction of their new Personal Health Record system.
The Personal Health Record will allow those seeking STI testing, contraception and sexual health support to book appointments and request testing self-kits and condoms through a single online log-in.
The new contract also includes a greater partnership between Provide CIC and the Terence Higgins Trust, the largest charitable provider of sexual health services in Europe.
The charity’s expanded role includes delivering one-to-one counselling sessions with vulnerable young people, sexual health training for a broad range of health and social care professionals and a targeted education programme in a variety of settings including schools, colleges and universities.
“This new contract gives us yet more opportunity to break down barriers and champion good sexual health. Above all, we’d like to thank all our colleagues and clinicians for delivering such great care and compassion for our service users” concludes Vicky Waldon, Chief Commercial Officer.
More information about Essex Sexual Health Services can be found at: www.eshs.org.uk