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Evaluating and developing contraceptive services: The results of an audit of the North Lambeth Primary Care Commissioning Group
  1. Caroline Free, MB ChB, DRCOG, DFP, MRCGP, MSc HSM, NHS Research and Development Primary Care Research Fellow1,
  2. Angela Dawe, MSc, Chief Executive2,
  3. Sheeylar Macey, BA, RGN RSCN, FP901, Clinical Director2 and
  4. Caroline Mawer, MBBS, MFPHM, DRCOG, MSc, MFPHM, Consultant in Public Health Lambeth3
  1. Department of General Practice and Primary care, GKT School of Medicine, Kings College London, London, UK
  2. North Lambeth Primary Care Group, London, UK
  3. Southwark and Lewisham Health Authority, London, UK
  1. Correspondence Caroline Free, Department of General Practice and Primary Care, GKT School of Medicine, Kings College London, 5 Lambeth Walk. London SE11 6SP, UK. Tel: 020 7840 9415

Abstract

Primary care groups are expected to meet the primary health care needs of their local population. In the inner-city London borough of Lambeth there are high levels of sexual health needs. The North Lambeth Primary Care Commissioning Group identified the evaluation and further development of contraceptive services, particularly to those under the age of 25, as a priority. An evaluation of current contraceptive service provision from general practice was carried out. The evaluation covered contraceptive service factors identified from the literature as linked to effective, acceptable, accessible and equitable service delivery. Factors linked to the effectiveness of services included service use, information provision, training of staff, provision of the full range of methods and services. Factors linked to the acceptability of services included confidentiality and the choice of the gender of the provider. The strengths and limitations of the data and indicators used are outlined. Areas requiring further evaluation are highlighted. The evaluation indicated scope for service development in all the key areas evaluated, and illustrated examples of good practice. For example, whilst information in practice leaflets and surgery waiting areas about the contraceptive services available was generally limited, one practice provided excellent information. Recommendations for service development were made covering information provision, staff training, and confidential access to services. These are being taken forward by an ongoing project.

  • family planning
  • family practice
  • medical audit
  • primary health care
  • urban health services
  • Accepted July 13, 2000.

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