SHIP has been supporting practices in Birmingham for over 10 years and, working in partnership with MEDFASH, has recently rolled out training in several parts of London.
SHIP training is interactive and designed to help general practitioners and practice nurses use sexual health risk assessment skills and understand the key issues relating to HIV, STIs and contraception. Led by GPs and practice nurses for their peers, this multi-faceted training intervention has the aim of changing clinical practice.
SHIP takes an integrated approach to sexual health, encompassing STIs, HIV, contraception, unplanned pregnancy and sexual health promotion. An evaluation of its impact on HIV testing rates when implemented in Haringey, London, found significant increases following the training. The average annual number of new HIV diagnoses per practice more than doubled (from 9.5 to 22). Positivity rates were substantially higher than found in London screening pilots, suggesting that the SHIP training nurtures complex clinical skills.