Most GPs provide contraceptive services including the Contraceptive Pill, Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) such as the coil or implants. GPs can also provide Emergency Hormone Contraception (EHC) for episodes of unprotected sexual activity. GPs also screen for chlamydia, a common sexually transmitted disease, for those aged under 25.
Most pharmacies provide free Emergency Hormone Contraception (EHC) and also screen for chlamydia for those aged under 25.
Specialist Sexual Health Services offer a free, confidential service providing contraception, sexual health advice, testing and treatment and HIV care and treatment. All treatment is free of charge.
iCaSH Suffolk is the name for contraception and sexual health services which operate a number of different clinics across the county.
There is a single local rate phone number to call and book appointments to access iCaSH services in Suffolk:
For more information on the services iCaSH provide in Suffolk you can visit their website here.
People at higher-risk of HIV can now order a HIV home-sampling test kit online. The test is free and involves taking a simple finger prick blood sample. Improved treatment for HIV means those diagnosed early can have a life expectancy almost matching that of people who are HIV free. For further details, to check your eligibility and to request a home-sampling test kit, visit the website here.
With more and more children and young people using mobile devices as part of their daily lives, Suffolk County Council has introduced a virtual school nurse text service. ChatHealth is an easy way for young people aged 11-19 to confidentially ask for help about a range of issues, or make an appointment to visit a school nurse. They can also find out how to access other local services including emotional support and sexual health services.
Messages sent to the dedicated number are delivered to a secure website and responded to by the Suffolk School Nursing Team.
To confidentially text a School Nurse:
The service is available Monday to Friday 9am-4.30pm excluding bank holidays.
Out of hours, anyone who texts the service receives a ‘bounce-back’ message that explains where to get help, and when they can expect a response. Texts are replied to within one working day.
The Ferns is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) which provides a one-stop location, offering medical care and emotional support to any victim of sexual assault. You will not be pressured into contacting the police if you do not wish, The Ferns is there to provide the support you need and respect your wishes.
The Suffolk Sexual Health Network has been established to enable commissioners, practitioners and service providers to come together to share good practice and learn more about sexual health in Suffolk. Suffolk Sexual Health Network information can be found here.