Sexual Health and Wellbeing


Quality of Care Research Cluster


The Quality of Care research cluster develops and supports research that empowers individuals who need to make decisions about their sexual health and wellbeing, as well those who access sexual health services. The Public Health implications of access to treatments, treatment options and the quality of sexual health care have local, national and international significance.

Aim of research

The Quality of Care research cluster's work in Sexual Health and Wellbeing aims to improve understanding in the following areas:

  • access to sexual health services
  • quality of care
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • sexual health and wellbeing among teenagers
Method of research

The distinct projects which comprise the research cluster's work on Sexual Health and Wellbeing each has its own methodological approach. The information below represents a sample of some ongoing projects.

Point of Care testing in GP surgeries 

HIV remains a stigmatising disease which discourages people from taking the HIV test. Late diagnosis results in a greatly increased risk of death usually within six months, so any initiative to improve the uptake of testing is crucial.This study in the data collection phase and the results will be available in the coming months. This initiative itself is now being rolled out from the initial study sites and has attracted media attention.

A video is in production to support this and upon completion papers will be submitted to appropriate journals. It is becoming evident that we need to understand marginalized communities and support them accessing sexual health services

Development of an importance rating scale to measure the satisfaction of people attending an HIV clinic

This study is in the analysis phase and the report will be delivered in the coming months. The existing patient reported outcome measures (PROM) scale is now the national standard instrument for reporting patient experience, promoted by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASSH).

The G-TOG study

Gonorrhea has progressively developed resistance to the antibiotic drugs prescribed to treat it. Following the spread of gonococcal fluoroquinolone resistance, the cephalosporin antibiotics have been the foundation of recommended treatment for gonorrhea.

The emergence of cephalosporin-resistant gonorrhea would significantly complicate the ability of providers to treat gonorrhea successfully, since we have few antibiotic options left that are simple, well-studied, well-tolerated and highly effective. It is critical to continuously monitor antibiotic resistance in Neisseria gonorrhoeae and encourage research and development of new treatment regimens. 

The G-TOG study is an NIHR HTA funded study that seeks to determine whether gentamicin is an acceptable alternative to ceftriaxone in the treatment of gonorrhoea. Recruitment began in September 2014 and will be completed by October 2016.

G-TOG NHS Trial 

Sexting Project

The rise in the number of teenagers who take and post intimate and explicit images of themselves on social networking sites is of worldwide concern to parents and others responsible for maintaining safeguards. This project aims to understand the social context of sexting within teenage cultures with a view to providing clearer guidance on how to inform and protect their well-being. Data collection is in progress and further funding is being sought to extend the study.


The Public Health implications of access to treatments, treatment options and the quality of sexual health care have local, national and international significance.