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Umbrella: an innovative integrated sexual health service in Birmingham, UK
  1. Suzanne Jewell1,
  2. Kate Campbell2,
  3. Kulsum Jaffer3
  1. 1Community Sexual and Reproductive Health (CSRH) Trainee, Sexual Health Services, Whittall Street Clinic, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2CSRH Trainee, Sexual Health Services, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Consultant CSRH, Sexual Health ServicesUniversity Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Suzanne Jewell, Sexual Health Services – Whittall Street Clinic, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Whittall Street, Birmingham B4 6DH, UK; Suzanne.jewell{at}

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What initiated the change?

In 2013 the sexual health and contraception services across Birmingham, UK were put out to tender by the commissioning parties Birmingham City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council. The commissioners' primary focus was to integrate the disparate services managed by different trusts and other associated providers within the region and to bring them under one contract. Another aim was for primary care to play a bigger role in providing sexual health services (SHS). There was also to be greater emphasis on safeguarding and health promotion, and for the service to deliver new ways of working by using media and technology.

How did Umbrella start?

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) developed a bid based upon the commissioners' vision and created a novel approach to how services could be delivered. UHB were successfully awarded the tender in December 2014, and merging with Solihull-based SHS, the Umbrella service was launched in August 2015. A 5-year contract was agreed, and despite a complete service redesign represented a cost saving.

What does Umbrella look like?

Based on 10 key service outcomes (Table 1) a unique partnership branded Umbrella, with UHB as the lead partner, was launched. Umbrella aspires to be the largest integrated sexual health and contraception service in the world. Umbrella aimed to turn its original service model on its head, focusing on prevention rather than treatment (Figure 1), helping to educate, empower and engage service users in order to better meet the 10 key service outcomes.

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Table 1

The 10 key Umbrella service outcomes. Outcomes 1–3 are national public health outcomes.1

Figure 1

Original service model and Umbrella service model (not to scale). GP, general practitioner.

UHB already provided SHS in Birmingham …

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