A rapid testing service for chlamydia and gonorrhoea yields significant patient and public health benefits

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Aquarius Population Health worked with the UK’s first large rapid STI screening service to evaluate the benefits to patients and public health.

Dr Elisabeth Adams

Dr Elisabeth Adams

This evaluation was a fantastic opportunity to work with Dean Street Express to generate evidence for the value of their innovative service. We validated the theoretical work we did with them several years ago before the service was implemented to show the impact of rapid testing.

Aquarius Population Health, a leading independent health economics consultancy, worked with Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust to assess the impact of Dean Street Express, their award winning sexual health clinic in Soho, London. This service tests symptom-free people wanting a routine sexual health check-up using an on-site 90-minute chlamydia and gonorrhoea rapid test. They estimated the patient and public health benefits of their rapid testing service, and compared to the standard sexual health service that didn’t offer rapid delivery of test results.

Aquarius developed a statistical model using anonymous patient data from both clinics. They estimated that the people accessing the Dean Street Express clinic nearly doubled over a year, while attendances at the standard clinic remained stable, suggesting that a rapid testing service is very attractive to people who need it. Using the rapid test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea meant that people were notified of their result in just 6.5 hours compared to 9 days for standard services. Early identification and treatment of patients with an infection has significant patient and public health benefits, and this service prevented an estimated 196 onward transmissions of chlamydia and/or gonorrhoea. The researchers also estimated that rapid identification of positive individuals could yield annual cost savings of £124,283 due to reduced partner attendances. If this service were implemented nationally, it could prevent roughly 2,000 new transmissions and prevent over 8,000 partner attendances.

Dr Elisabeth Adams, Managing Director of Aquarius Population Health comments:

“This evaluation was a fantastic opportunity to work with Dean Street Express to generate evidence for the value of their innovative service. We validated the theoretical work we did with them several years ago before the service was implemented to show the impact of rapid testing. The results provide extremely valuable insight to other sexual health services considering offering a rapid on-site testing service.”

Dr Gary Whitlock, Genitourinary Medicine Consultant, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust comments:

“Since we opened the Dean Street Express clinic, we have seen an increase in demand for people who want rapid testing for sexually transmitted infections. It is great that we can offer this service, knowing that we are having a real impact on patient and public health, treating those who need it and reducing onward transmission.”

The full results of the service evaluation are published Open Access in the International Journal of STD and AIDS and can be accessed here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0956462417736431

Contact details:

Aquarius Population Health:
Dr Elisabeth Adams – Tel: +44 (0)207 993 2930, email: elisabeth.adams(at)aquariusph(dot)com

NOTES TO EDITORS

Aquarius Population Health
Aquarius Population Health was founded by Dr Elisabeth Adams, and is based in Highgate Village, North London. The multidisciplinary team of expert epidemiologists and health economists, specialise in developing creative ways to explore and solve healthcare problems. They generate independent insight and evidence to support informed decisions that can impact on policy and commercialisation and improve patient care in an efficient way. Aquarius Population Health delivers health research and consultancy for clients and collaborators in the commercial, academic, charity, and government sectors. For further information visit http://www.aquariusph.com

Dean Street Express
Dean Street Express is a free, confidential, walk-in STI clinic for men and women without symptoms of sexually transmitted infections which opened in February 2014. Patients attending complete a risk assessment, and then provide samples for testing, which is done by the in-house laboratory via air-tube and are processed by a NAAT on the GeneXpert Infinity machine (Cepheid, USA). Results are sent to patients the same day and those positive are asked to return for treatment. This service is run by Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust in London. Further information about the services offered at Dean Street Express can be found on their website here: http://dean.st/

Aquarius Population Health
58a Highgate High Street
London NW1 9AQ, UK
+44 (0)207 993 2930
info(at)aquariusph(dot)com
http://www.aquariusph.com

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