National Chlamydia Screening Programme – NCSP
Changes are occuring to the Chlamydia Screening Programme commencing on 1st April 2022.
There has been a national programme of Chlamydia screening in England since 2003. BNSSG, Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire and BANES, Bath and North East Somerset areas have had an active service since 2007 with the aim of preventing onward transmission and the harms of chlamydia though early detection and treatment.
To ensure the NCSP service is based on the best available evidence, Public Health England (PHE) convened a review of the evidence based research by national and international experts and consulted with stakeholders and public (including focus groups with young people) on the recommended way forward.
As a result, the aim of the NCSP is changing to focus on reducing the harms from untreated chlamydia infection. The harmful effects of chlamydia occur predominantly in women so the opportunistic screening (that is the proactive offer of a chlamydia test to young people without symptoms) should focus on women*, combined with re-testing after treatment:
· Reducing time to test results and treatment
· Strengthening partner notification
Everyone can still get tested if they need, but men will not be proactively offered a test unless an indication has been identified, such as being a partner of someone with chlamydia or having symptoms.
In light of these changes, the screening office will still provide test kits with vaginal swabs for use in the 15-24 yr old age range. A small number of urine test kits for male or transfemale clients will also continue to be available.
The Unity website for test requests can be found at www.unitysexualhealth.co.uk. This provides access to STI screening kits that link to a client’s own patient account in Unity Sexual Health.
Please contact the Chlamydia Screening team on 0117 342 9299 or csp.avon@UHBW.nhs.uk if you have any questions.
*References to women includes cisgender women, transgender men and non-binary (assigned female at birth) people who have not had hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy.