AN ELECTRONIC ‘C-CARD’ will allow young people to scan for confidential health advice and services at venues across the city.
The scheme is aimed at young people aged 14-24 to allow them easier access to advice on matters relating to sexual health, contraception and where appropriate issues around drugs and alcohol.
After registering, young people are given a bar-coded key fob which they can use not only to access advice but also condoms and Chlamydia testing kits from more than 50 venues including youth clubs, hospitals and medical walk-in centres and other venues where they feel more comfortable and at ease.
The C-Card is a joint initiative between Sunderland City Council and NHS South of Tyne and Wear which covers Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Gateshead and South Tyneside PCTs with the initiative to be extended into these areas.
Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Learning City said: “The aim of the C-Card is to encourage young people to actively seek help and advice by making it more accessible through this electronic registration system.
“They will be able to access services in the kind of places they most visit and feel comfortable in, where our staff will also be on hand to help.
“This kind of new approach will allow us all, health professionals and young people, to work together and address issues such as reducing teenage pregnancies and substance abuse.
Nonnie Crawford, Director of Public Health, Sunderland City Council and Sunderland Teaching PCT added: “We want young people to have accurate information and feel comfortable accessing sexual health services.
“The C Card scheme provides young people with easy access to professional advice and support, and if it’s appropriate, contraception, so that when they are ready to have sex, they do safely using a reliable method of contraception that protects them from sexually transmitted infections as well as an unwanted pregnancy.
Benefits of the C-Card will include;
- Increased awareness leading to take up of provision
- Simple, quick and easy registration system for the young person which allows them to access provision at a venue of their choice whilst ensuring necessary safeguards are in place
- Once registered they scan their card and access services across the City
- Well trained staff with an understanding of young people’s issues offering consistent messages
- Staff will have greater knowledge of core health services and will be able to signpost young people to the most appropriate
- More efficient management of the distribution of condoms and Chlamydia tests with an automated e-mail to a supplier once an outlet reaches minimum stock levels
- Greater safeguarding mechanisms are built into the online registration system for those under 16 year old
- ‘Live’ data will ensure we are able to see where and when young people are accessing services and will ensure services are strategically placed where there is greatest need (e.g. teenage pregnancy and drug and alcohol hotspots)
- Contribute to reducing teenage pregnancy and substance misuse rates
A website has been set up where you can go for more information about the Sunderland C-Card Scheme www.yourhealthsunderland.com/c-card.