A CHAT WITH: axess Sexual Health

Last year axess sexual health services took over services that had previously been delivered by Armistead. We caught up with Luke Byrne, the Regional Lead Nurse for the axess, to find out the organisation’s vision for the service, what’s new and what’s coming up in 2022.

Hi Luke, before we get into axess and the services it offers, what is your role there?

As Regional Lead nurse for axess sexual health services, my job is to oversee the clinical working and performance of all the nurses within each of our teams and ensure that we are providing a great, safe non-judgemental service for all our patients.

Can you tell us about what axess offers and what it seeks to achieve through the delivery of those services

Our overarching aim is to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of the people of Liverpool by delivering an innovative prevention-orientated sexual health service, which responds dynamically to the changing environment of sexual health.

axess services have ensured the availability of HIV and other STI testing via our digital offer and one stop shop approach in clinics, from day one of our service provision. This aims to reduce the late HIV diagnosis rates in Liverpool and increase Chlamydia and Gonorrhea detection.

Community HIV point of care testing will also be undertaken as part of our outreach offer, and in partnership with 3rd sector, such as Sahir House. The ability for our services to use standard face-to-face and telephone partner notification methods, with the addition of an online partner notification system, will allow again for increased reach and enhanced tracking of all STIs.

To improve targeted approach to care for high risk groups, we also provide bespoke specialist clinics such as our ‘Butterfly’ clinic for Trans and Non-Binary individuals, across all our hub sites. Enhanced and bespoke clinics at clinical locations also work in conjunction with our new pan-regional axess outreach team, which has both educational and clinical abilities.

axess has taken over services previously provided by Armistead, so what’s new or different?

It is such an exciting time for the service, and we are dedicated to creating services that are fit for the patients we serve. We even have a new patient experience team that we want people to join, so that they can have your say in how we work and how we provide our care.

Since November 2021 the axess service has rolled out a new longer clinic opening across Liverpool, with extra provision in the south of the city at South Liverpool Treatment Centre in Garston, but also better coverage through the digital online testing offer.

The service has also secured several sites across the city, in which to provide care for high-risk groups, working alongside other services such as ‘We are With You’, a charity providing free, confidential support to people experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health.

The service acknowledges the importance of patient input, and as such we have hired a communications officer, working exclusively within the axess service. This role allows enhanced engagement with patients about what they need/want from our services.

Furthermore, it means we can engage traditionally hard to reach groups, with better health promotion and clinical offers.

Other specialist roles introduced as part of the new service are our axess drug and alcohol practitioner. They focus again on hard-to-reach groups, and can provide tailored PrEP clinics to help prevent onward transmission of HIV, but also provide holistic care for patients through partnership working.

Our new Young Person Service also went live in January 2022, and provides traditional drop-in services across the week, and also at the weekend and during the evenings too.

You recently supported National Testing Week with your #AllYouNeedIsLove? campaign. How was that received and what other campaigns are coming this year?

Our campaigns for both World AIDS Day and National HIV Testing Week, which saw our outreach team out and about offering HIV and other STI tests at universities and out in the community, were a success and even resulted in several pieces of coverage in local media, appearances on local radio and an increase in social media followers. axess is looking forward to spreading the word even further this year and we’re hoping to go even bigger and better for our Pride in Liverpool campaign – so watch this space!

Are there any unique services that axess offers?

The service has been successful in securing money for a ‘mobile clinical unit’. We see this as a fantastic opportunity to utilise the clinical mobile unit in targeting areas of need, and providing clinical services on site, where patients may have otherwise gone without.

Our service is also looking to provide better social value within the communities we work and our looking at hiring apprenticeship posts, who can assist and help mould our services for the future.

Are your services completely confidential?

All our services are confidential, and we advise patients of this at the time of booking and when they attend. We advise patients that we will only share information with their permission, or if they are at risk of harm, or due to safeguarding concerns.

How can people access your services or find out more information?

All our services are free and accessible by either dropping into clinic, calling in advance and booking an appointment, or even accessing services online via our website www.axess.clinic

If you are interested in joining the axess patient experience team, you will be able to do so by completing a form on the axess website in coming weeks, so check back soon!

If you just want to learn more, you can also follow our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts.




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LCR Pride Foundation is a registered charity in England & Wales, no 1185167. Registered Company 11754074.