University of Sussex

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Not so different after all? Comparing patients attending general practice-based locally enhanced services for sexual health with patients attending genitourinary medicine

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 15:18 authored by C H Mercer, C R H Aicken, Jackie Cassell, V Hartnell, L Davies, J Ryan, F Keane
We did a cross-sectional survey of patients attending genitourinary (GU) medicine clinics (n ¼ 933) and general practice-based Locally Enhanced Services for Sexual Health (GP-LESSH, n ¼ 111) in Cornwall, England, in 2009/2010, to compare patients’ characteristics and experiences. Patients completed a pen-and-paper questionnaire that was then linked to an extract of their clinical data. GP-LESSH patients took longer both to seek and to receive care: medians of nine and seven days, respectively, versus GU medicine patients: medians of seven and one day, respectively. GP-LESSH patients were less likely than GU medicine patients to report symptoms (19.6% versus 30.6%) and sexual risk behaviours (33.3% versus 44.7% reported new partners) since recognizing needing to seek care; 5.0% versus 10.2% were men who have sex with men). However, they were equally likely to have sexually transmitted infections (STIs) diagnosed (23.3% versus 24.8%). As GP-LESSH may operate infrequently, local services must work collaboratively to ensure that those seeking care for suspected STIs receive it promptly. Failing to do so facilitates avoidable STI transmission.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Published version


International Journal of STD and AIDS




Royal Society of Medicine





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Department affiliated with

  • Primary Care and Public Health Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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