COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Sexual Health FAQs

Why can’t I book an appointment to be seen?
I have a pre-booked appointment from a while ago. Will this still go ahead?
Are clinics still open?
Why are you conducting telephone assessments?
What will I be asked on the telephone?
Who will call me?
I am awaiting a telephone assessment but I have not been called?
If I am asked to come to clinic can I bring someone with me?
If I am asked to come to clinic, do I need to wear a face covering?
Can I still order a postal test kit or condoms by post?
I have ordered a testing kit/condoms/expecting medication by post. When will it arrive?
When will I receive my results?
My contraception is running out and needs replacing.
Can I still have sex?
I am a Young Person, what advice is there?
I’m living with HIV, what advice is there?
I am a Parent or Professional supporting a young person, what advice is there?
I need advice on an abortion.
I need help following rape or sexual assault.
If I am asked to attend clinic, will I be breaking social distancing rules?
Will I be reported if I disclose that I have broken social distancing e.g. to have sex?

 

Why can’t I book an appointment to be seen?

In order to respond as a service to COVID-19 we have temporarily suspended our normal appointment booking procedure. This includes closing our online booking system. Please call 0300 300 2016 if you feel you need to be seen. You will be contacted by a member of our clinical team and assessed by phone. If we cannot help you over the phone you will be allocated a time to attend clinic. Where possible we encourage the use of our Online Test Kit service, as well as access to information on Sexual Health.

 

I have a pre-booked appointment from a while ago. Will this still go ahead?

If you have a pre-booked appointment, you will be sent a text message telling you not to attend in person and instead, we will contact you by phone to assess your needs. Due to the high numbers of clinic changes we need to make, we will contact service users by telephone. Therefore, if you have provided us with a telephone number, we will assume consent to call you.

 

Are clinics still open?

  • Some of our clinics are still open. However, you must not attend the clinic unless a Doctor or Nurse rings you and you are told to attend. Please do not bring anyone with you to the clinic.
  • Please call us if you feel you need to be seen. 0300 300 2016
  • In response to the developing outbreak we are temporarily closing the student sexual health clinics in community youth venues, schools and colleges.
  • For specific clinic details, please use our Clinic Finder.

 

Why are you conducting telephone assessments?

In order to keep you and our staff safe, we need to minimise face to face contact where possible. We may be able to help you entirely by phone, which can also include providing treatment or contraception via post. However, there may be times when we can’t help you over the phone and need to see you in person. You will be allocated a time to attend. In order to keep face to face time to a minimum, we will need to conduct as much of your consultation as possible via telephone. This includes questions which may normally have been asked in clinic.  

 

What will I be asked on the telephone?

In order to assess and help you via telephone, we will need to ask you some questions. These questions will relate to your personal details and sexual and medical history. We understand that you may feel uncomfortable providing personal information over the phone. We kindly ask you to be honest, so we can help you in the most appropriate way. Please remember, that our service is confidential and non-judgemental. As part of keeping you and our staff safe, we need to conduct as much of a consultation as we can over the phone to minimise face to face contact. Please keep this in mind if you are expecting a call, and ensure you are somewhere private to answer these questions. We will send you a text message a few minutes before we call you, so you are aware to expect a call.

 

Who will call me?

You will usually be called by one of our doctors or nurses. The nurse or doctor who calls you could be male or female. All of our clinicians are professionals who are able to help you, and maintain confidentiality. If you are unhappy speaking to a clinician of a particular gender, please be honest with the clinician who has called you.

 

I am awaiting a telephone assessment but I have not been called?

You will be contacted during the day. We are unable to provide a specific time we will call. Please ensure you are available on the contact number you have provided us. The number we call from may show up as withheld. Therefore if you are expecting a call from our service, please answer calls whether the number is withheld or not. We will send you a text message a few minutes before we call you, so you are aware to expect a call.

 

If I am asked to come to clinic can I bring someone with me?

No, you must not bring anyone with you if you are asked to attend the clinic. If there are circumstances where it is essential you are accompanied, please discuss this with the doctor or nurse during your telephone assessment.

 

If I am asked to come to clinic, do I need to wear a face covering?

Yes, you must be wearing a face covering on arrival and for the duration of your visit. A cloth or home-made face covering is suitable. Details on how to wear and make a face covering can be read here.

 

Can I still order a postal test kit or condoms by post?

Our Condoms by Post service and STI Test Kit services are continuing to operate.

 

I have ordered a testing kit/condoms/expecting medication by post. When will it arrive?

  • STI Test kits & Chlamydia test kits are dispatched within 5 working days of us receiving your order. Kits are delivered by 2nd class post. Please be aware there may be a delay to dispatch and delivery due to COVID-19
  • Condoms are dispatched within 10 working days of us receiving your order. Condoms are delivered by 2nd class post. Please be aware there may be a delay to dispatch and delivery due to COVID-19
  • Medicines by post are delivered by 1st class post. Please be aware there may be a delay to delivery due to COVID-19 and could take up to a week to be delivered. A member of our team will contact you to check you have received your medicine.

 

When will I receive my results?

  • NHS services are under significant pressure during the current Coronavirus outbreak. This includes Sexual Health and the postal system. Because of this, there may be a delay in us receiving your samples after you post them. Once received into our laboratory, we are still able to process samples in line with our usual timescales. 
  • We do our best to provide results in the following timescales:
    • Online STI test kit: 7 working days of us receiving your sample into our laboratory.
    • Tested in clinic: 7 working days of your visit to our clinic.

 

My contraception is running out and needs replacing.

Please read Advice for women seeking contraception, abortion and other sexual and reproductive healthcare during the COVID-19 epidemic. Page 10 states that Some forms of long-acting reversible contraception are very likely to be effective for contraception for a year or more longer than is usually recommended. They don’t cause health problems if used for longer, so you may be advised to postpone replacement for the time being. Pleaes call us for a telephone assessment if you need to discuss your contraception.

 

Can I still have sex?

  • Coronavirus is changing life for all of us. It is also making people wonder if it’s safe to date or have sex during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 is a new illness that affects your lungs and airways. We need to protect ourselves, and others. We need to quickly stop it from spreading further.
  • Guidance is available from the Terrence Higgins Trust, BISH and HIV Scotland.

Disclaimer: Solent Sexual Health Services are sharing this information to support patients. Any links to support services or contact details on the above site may not be available to those living in the Solent Sexual Health area. Information is being updated continuously and is subject to change. Government guidance regarding social distancing should be adhered to.

 

I am a Young Person, what advice is there?

Please visit our COVID19: Support for Young People and Young Person Advice Guide.

 

I’m living with HIV, what advice is there?

Please complete this survey to help us understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on people living with HIV in the UK, including any impact on your access to services and treatment.

 

I am a Parent or Professional supporting a young person, what advice is there?

Please visit our Parent & Professionals guide.

 

I need advice on an abortion.

Please read Advice for women seeking contraception, abortion and other sexual and reproductive healthcare during the COVID-19 epidemic and visit the BPAS website.

 

I need help following rape or sexual assault.

Despite these uncertain times, the team at Treetops continue to be here to offer support. We are encouraging social distancing in line with government recommendations, however, we offer non-judgemental support, care and treatment to all clients that need it. We would like to reassure anyone who needs our service they will be treated with kindness, care and respect no matter what circumstances. Contact us 24/7 on 0300 123 6616 if you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault. You will be assessed over the phone firstly and advised if you need to attend in person. We are here to help.

 

If I am asked to attend clinic, will I be breaking social distancing rules?

Once you have spoken to a clinician, and it has been established that you need to be seen in person then you will be given a time to attend one of our clinics. Under current government guidelines you will be allowed to leave your home to attend our clinics as it will be classed as a medical need.

 

Will I be reported if I disclose that I have broken social distancing e.g. to have sex?

Our service is here to help you with your Sexual Health. We are not here to judge. We strongly encourage everyone to follow social distancing guidelines, but we will not report you or tell you off if you have not followed the guidelines.