PHE publish case study on the Umbrella sexual health service in Birmingham

Published on: 3rd December 2019 | Updated on: 15th March 2022

Public Health England (PHE) has published a case study on the Umbrella sexual health service being provided by 174 community pharmacies in Birmingham.

The Umbrella model, part of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, was introduced in 2014 after Birmingham City Council recognised the need for a cohesive, accessible service which moved away from hospitals and into the community.

One of the critical components of the Umbrella model is its network of 174 community pharmacies, delivering around 5,000 sexual health service consultations a month. Offering these services from community pharmacies allows the public increased anonymity and convenience, which is proving successful. It also feeds into community pharmacy’s key roles in prevention and self-care.

Under the model, pharmacies can provide sexual health services on a tiered basis:

Tier 1: Pharmacies provide a basic level of sexual health services including the supply of emergency hormonal contraception, chlamydia screening, an STI kit ‘click and collect’ service, and the supply of condoms.

Tier 2: Pharmacies provide the tier 1 service plus other services including chlamydia treatment, hepatitis B vaccination, and oral and injectable contraceptives.

Umbrella’s service is proving popular with the public and has made significant cost savings since its implementation. It is gaining recognition in the broader community as an alternative to current clinic-based services.

More information on this service and other sexual health services can be found on the Community Pharmacy England Services Database.

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