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Cardiff University 'worst in UK' for sexual health services

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In a report compiled by DrEd, an online doctor service, Cardiff University came last in a sexual health league of Russell Group universities, which were graded on categories including services, on-campus information and student satisfaction. The report was released on Thursday.

Student welfare representatives provided details of the sexual health facilities offered by universities.

Many reported that information on campus was "weak or non-existent", with some students being told access to services would depend on their postcode.

"If we lived in certain postcodes, we could access the university health centre facilities, but on other occasions we were told we would have to go to the local GUM clinic," Dr Ed's clinical consultant Dr Jasper Mordhorst says.

"Providing a standardised sexual health service to all students would seem like a great step forward."

He added: "Universities are in a prime position to communicate, educate and encourage testing and should focus on making sexual health services easy to access, multi-cultural and educational. Young people tend to change partners much more than other age groups, so transmission rates of STIs are much higher.

"Across the board, information on websites regarding STIs and how to obtain treatment was weak and difficult to find," Mordhorst continues, "and there was limited advertising around campus of sexual health issues."

Pete Mercer, the National Union of Students' vice president, expressed approval of the report. He said: "Although it probably won't be a driving factor when choosing university, this is just the sort of information that should be at students' fingertips.

"The level of consistency in sexual health services is already a concern, particularly given recent sweeping changes in local health provision, and this gives all the more impetus to developing partnership and campaigning work to prevent a postcode lottery in the provision of what are vitally important services to the student community.

"If nothing else, hopefully the DrEd report card will increase awareness of student sexual health issues and encourage universities to both take them more seriously and to learn from the best examples already in existence."

Check out the report card below. How does your university rank for sexual health services?

DrEd's sexual report card.

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