Swansea trailing in sexual health services league

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Swansea University has been rated in the bottom ten out of 50 UK universities for sexual health services in a recent survey.

Polling 46th out of 50, Swansea University was given the equivalent of a third degree in the poll conducted by Superdrug’s Online Doctor Team.

Each university has been scored against nine key service areas, including sexual assault services, access to contraceptives and clinic drop-in availability.

Performance against each criteria was marked in a schoollike grade system from A – F.

Swansea received an A for sexual health clinic services on or near campus and an F for sexual health information found on campus.

The survey was conducted through web research, a student welfare officer and telephone mystery shopping.

Rating below Swansea was the University of Reading, City University London, both graded thirds and Cardiff University which received 38 which rated as unclassified.

Scoring firsts were Bristol University, the University of Nottingham and St. Georges, University of London, amongst others.

Unlike universities in England, Welsh universities receive no public health funding from the government.

This means that English universities can concentrate on spending their money on campaigning about sexual health awareness whereas Welsh universities have to spend a considerable amount of their budget on paying for the sexual health services, such as chlamydia tests, themselves.

Rebecca Grimes, the students’ union’s welfare officer, explains more about these statistics:

“In Swansea we’re in a pretty unique situation. Since we have a sexual health clinic on campus and Singleton is in such close proximity, it’s difficult to get the balance right between respecting the NHS clinic’s autonomy and doing our own campaigns. There is a reluctance to interfere with each organisations priorities and sometimes that can mean that there is a lack of communication on the best way to campaign.

“More than this, it means that we get very little funding. Back in January I was planning a very elaborate campaign on sexual health which was going to take place at the end of February, unfortunately I hit a brick wall when I was told that I had very little money to play with, and attempting to test the entire campus for chlamydia would cost a small fortune and therefore impossible without damaging other campaigns that other officers wanted to do.”

For more information on sexual health, email welfare@swansea-union.co.uk or drop into the advice centre on the ground floor of Fulton House.

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