Making it easier to get treated for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Project lead: Dr Karla Blee, Consultant sexual Health and HIV (Central)

Rory Wilkinson, Head Pharmacy Primary Care and community Services (Central)

Tiffiny Lewandowski, North Denbighshire Cluster prescribing Support Pharmacy Technician

Kelly Andrews, Research Facilitator

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board


Early treatment of STIs provides symptom relief and reduces the risk of developing complications and onward transmission.

STIs disproportionately affects young people, the socio-economically disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. These individuals often find it hardest to attend clinic and Covid has made this more challenging with fewer clinical sites operating, individuals not being able to rely on friends or family for transport and concerns about public transport.

Our traditional pathway meant 30% had to wait 3 or more days to receive treatment, travel on average 9 miles to clinic, taking 15minutes by car or 56 minute by public transport.

Project Aims

Infographic showing traditional pathway
Infographic showing tradtional pathways
Infographic showing new pathway

Primary Aim

To make getting treated for STIs easier

By moving care closer to home by using community pharmacies to dispense the medication.

Secondary aims

Create capacity to provide care for more serious healthcare needs

Appointments used for collection of medication can be utilised for specialist sexual health services that cannot be met elsewhere in the healthcare system.

Improve system inefficiencies

Reduce number of patients redirected to pharmacy to use common aliments scheme after a consultation with us.

How does it fit prudent healthcare?

Infographic showing how the new pathway fits prudent healthcare

The new pathway:


There is no legal system for electronic prescribing or transfer of prescriptions. We have adopted a similar pathway to out of hours GPs to overcome this.

The new pathway is more time-consuming for the clinician. This has restricted its use to those who require urgent treatment. To make it as efficient as possible our nursing team will become independent prescribers.

A case where a patient did not collect their medication has identified a post Covid restructuring gap in our service for STI management follow-up which has prompted reallocation of protected time, benefiting all patients regardless of which treatment pathway used.

Key Outcomes

Infographic showing time taken to travel when accessing care closer to home with 100% same day treatment available
Infographic showing a 5-8% increase in capacity for serious health care needs

Patient Feedback

Patient feedback captions
Patient feedback

Next Steps

Our Exemplar Experience

Fantastic support and networking opportunities, helping to build and retain momentum to successfully transform clinical care during this challenging time.