Transforming Sexual Health in Scotland: Cultural, Organisational and Partnership Approaches

The Story of Sandyford - Developing Accessible Sexual Health Services in the West of Scotland

Author(s): Rosie Ilett

Pp: 68-80 (13)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805065911001010068


The second chapter in the section covering contemporary sexual health services focuses on the largest sexual health service in Scotland, the Sandyford Initiative in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This service pre-empted the first national sexual health strategy for Scotland in its integration of family planning and genitourinary medicine in 2000, and the chapter details the local conditions that led to this development, much of which are linked to previous multi-agency working concerning inequalities and health.

Written by one of the founders of the Initiative (also one of the book’s editors) the chapter reviews thinking that informed the merger between family planning, GUM and a women’s health service in Glasgow. It describes how integrating understandings of health and social inequalities into the planning and delivery of the service was seen as critical, and employed as a vision in bringing staff together to form one cohesive unit.

Drawing on internal documents and early evaluations of the views of staff and service users at the start of the service, along with a summary of activity and outcomes since then, the chapter sets out to discover how successful Sandyford has been in embedding an inequalities sensitive approach since its opening. It concludes that organisational culture has a high level of understanding about inequalities, and the service has reached a wider range of service users than before integration, yet the current economic climate may prove increasingly challenging in ensuring that the ethos continues to remain central.

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