Conference praises the ongoing work currently happening in Scotland to reduce sexual health inequalities, in particular the launch of the My Body Back (MBB) clinic in Glasgow, which offers specialist sexual health services and support for women who have experienced sexual assault. However, conference understands that this service is only available to women and can only be accessed by patients in the NHS Glasgow and Greater Clyde region.
Conference notes with concern that recorded sexual crimes in Scotland are at the highest level since records began. Therefore, conference believes the need and demand for specialised sexual health services for survivors of sexual violence across the country is increasing and that, with that increase, more specialist services are required.
Conference recognises that since the Scottish National Party formed their first Government in 2007 the NHS in Scotland has routinely outperformed its counterparts in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. However, conference also recognises that, while the NHS in most areas is a shining example of how the system should be run, issues with sexual health provision are a concern. In many areas patients seeking routine sexual health check-ups can wait a month or more for an appointment and, while emergency appointments for survivors of sexual assaults are prioritised, this demand can result in slightly longer waiting times for those who have suffered such attacks - to the detriment of the survivors physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Conference therefore calls on the Scottish Government, and the NHS, to take the necessary action to ensure services across the country meet the growing demand, and that survivors of sexual violence seeking emergency care are provided the support, care, and services they require immediately.