arrow_up-blue blog branches consultations events facebook-icon facebook-icon2 factsheet forum-icon forum hands key link location lock mail measure menu_plus news pdf pdf2 phone policies publications related search share subjectguide twitter-icon word youtube-icon

Sexual and reproductive health nurses: have your say

 Cecilia Anim CBE 22 Jan 2018 Cecilia Anim

The RCN wants to get a clearer picture of the situation UK-wide.

Sexual health services
I’ve worked in sexual and reproductive health for more than 40 years. I’m incredibly passionate about this field of nursing and do all I can to champion our members working in this area.
 
When I began my nursing career people simply didn’t discuss sexual health. A visit to a so-called ‘special clinic’ filled people with dread. 
 
There was a stigma attached to discussions around sexual health and it wasn’t an area that many nurses wanted to work in.
 
Nowadays, sexual health is an important public health issue. There is greater awareness of sexual health issues. The need for specialist, evidence-based advice and treatment is rightly recognised and freely available.
 
Sexual health nursing is a specialist area of practice and I’m proud of the progress that has been made in this time, so reports that sexual health services across the UK, including in London where I work, are facing cuts, being closed down or turning patients away is incredibly worrying.
 
The RCN wants to get a clearer picture of the situation UK-wide, so we’ve launched a survey of nurses and midwives who provide sexual and reproductive health or HIV services, including those offering specialist services.
 
The survey will ask you for your experiences over the past five years. 
 
The survey is part of ongoing work to assess the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which gave responsibility for commissioning and providing sexual and reproductive health services to local authorities.
 
The survey is anonymised and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. It will close on Sunday 11 February.
 
Across the UK budgets are being squeezed, and sexual and reproductive health services are particularly vulnerable to these financial pressures.
 
We must act now to protect this essential service, and to ensure patients get the support they need as quickly as possible. Failure to do so will reverse years of progress.
 
You can help today by completing the survey and letting us know about the situation in your area.

Cecilia Anim

Cecilia Anim CBE

RCN President

@cisanim

Cecilia works as a clinical nurse specialist in sexual and reproductive health in London and specialises in family planning and aspects of women's health. She was elected RCN President in 2015, having been a member for more than 30 years, and made a CBE in the 2017 New Year honours.