This study had two main aims:
A) What are young people’s experiences, knowledge, barriers to access and needs of sexual health services? B) How good is the quality of pharmacies delivering sexual health services for young people?
This study revealed issues in several areas. Firstly, awareness of free sexual health services was low and young people did not know how or where to access these services. Engagement did not necessarily reflect or make use of modern technologies. Within schools, there is plenty of opportunity to reach and engage with young people on sexual health topics but this appears to be under utilised, with no support for teachers delivering the information.
The second part of the study reviewed how good pharmacies were in delivering sexual health services. By using mystery shoppers aged 16 21 who reflected the age of service users, our findings were concerning. Despite being signed up to offer sexual health services, there was minimal delivery of any services and information. Signposting was inconsistent, haphazard and occasionally inaccurate. Some visits carried out at the end of the exercise proved to be more positive but overall the services offered appeared inadequate.