56 Dean Street in Soho
56 Dean Street in Soho

56 Dean Street, based in Dean Street in London's Soho district, is the city's largest sexual health clinic.[1] Part of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, it also has a second branch, Dean Street Express,[2] at 34 Dean Street, which offers a fast-turnaround testing service.[3] As of 2017, the clinic was the largest HIV clinic in Europe.[4] In addition to its specialism in HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases, it also offers general sexual health care services, including contraception.[2] The clinic also runs TransPlus - the UK’s first integrated NHS gender dysphoria, sexual health and HIV service.

56 Dean Street is recognised internationally for its innovation, particularly in regard to its engagement of London's higher-risk communities as well as HIV epidemic management. HIV combination prevention is the multi-factoral approach to addressing the HIV epidemic.[5] It includes;

with the result that new HIV infection rates in London have dropped dramatically since the introduction of these interventions.[1]

Other services

56 Dean Street also hosts a variety of talking therapies and sexual well-being services.[8][9]

As of 2018, limitations on funding have substantially reduced the clinic's ability to offer its services, with significant reductions in the number of appointments available each day.[11]

History

Staff at the 2017 Pride in London march
Staff at the 2017 Pride in London march

Dean Street has a long history of providing sexual health services.[12] The world’s first VD (venereal disease) clinic for men was based at 91 Dean Street, London in 1862. Over the years it has had several different names and has been based in different parts of London. Originally it was part of the Westminster Hospital and was known as Outpatient 6. It was at the Westminster Hospital that Professor Brian Gazzard diagnosed one of Europe’s first cases of AIDS in 1981.

In 1993, the Westminster Hospital moved to Fulham Road to become part of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Outpatient 6 relocated to Vincent Square and the name was changed to the Victoria Clinic. It has been known as 56 Dean Street since it moved to Soho in March 2009.

In 2011 56 Dean Street set the World Record for most HIV tests performed in one location on World Aids Day at G-A-Y Bar in Soho, London.[12]  In 2014 Dean Street Express was opened, the first clinic in the world to have an on-site Infinity machine, allowing this service to give results within 6 hours.

The Trust's HIV and sexual health centres have an excellent national and international reputation for delivering high quality services. In 2003, it was the first NHS service to offer rapid 1 hour HIV POC (Point of Care) testing. As a consequence, the clinic has won several national awards for its excellent, innovative and engaging work.[12]

Awards and achievements

In October 2014, the CQC (Care Quality Commission) inspection report stated that "There were effective procedures to support a safe and effective service for patients. Clinical standards were adhered to and patients were appropriately involved in research and drug trials. The environment at clinics was clean and uncluttered. The clinics at 56 Dean Street and Dean Street Express were trendy, modern and bright. One patient representative told us the team had brought 'sexual health and HIV services into the 21 Century'. Patients described the service offered at each of the clinics as 'exceptional', 'caring', 'confidential' and 'quick'. Staff were highly trained and were compassionate and caring. They treated patients with dignity and respect and 'normalised' conversations about sexual health. Staff worked in a multidisciplinary way to centre care around the patient."[13]

Over the years it has received the following awards and commendations:[12]

Boyz Magazine Awards 2016; 2017; 2018; 2019 – (Winner) "The Best Sexual Health Clinic or Organisation"

2016 data leak scandal

In May 2016, the clinic was fined £180,000 after the details of nearly 800 patients who had visited HIV clinics were leaked in an email. [14] A newsletter issued in 2015 was sent to patients of the clinic, but instead of blind copying patients' email addresses, every recipient was able to view the names and email addresses of other recipients. The scandal caused a lot of emotional distress and alarm, and a full apology was subsequently issued by the director of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on behalf of the clinic.

Sexual assault controversy

In February 2018, the Chelsea and Westminster Trust was forced to agree a settlement with a former patient as a result of sexual assaults perpetrated by a senior nurse during routine appointments at the Dean Street clinic, dating back to 2013. The clinic found itself embroiled in further scandal after it emerged that multiple complaints had been directed to staff members, including senior management, but had been either subsequently ignored or dismissed by internal investigations. [15]

References

  1. ^ a b "HIV 'may soon be wiped out in London' after dramatic drop in new infections". The Independent. Archived from the original on 12 January 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "56 Dean Street — Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust". www.chelwest.nhs.uk. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Dean Street Express is the STI clinic of the future – we went inside". The Tab. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  4. ^ "HIV cases fall by 40% for second year at top clinic". Evening Standard. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Combination HIV Prevention: Tailoring and Coordinating Biomedical, Behavioural and Structural Strategies to Reduce New HIV Infections UNAIDS Discussion Paper" (PDF). UNAIDS. September 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2020.
  6. ^ "Treatment as Prevention (TasP)". 20 July 2015. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Europe's largest sexual health clinic launches PrEP service due to huge demand". PinkNews. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Chelsea and Westminster hospital NHS Foundation Trust website". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011.
  9. ^ "56 Dean Street website". Archived from the original on 21 February 2009.
  10. ^ "Home Page". Transplus. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  11. ^ "HIV Transmission Rates Have Fallen, But We Can't Be Complacent". Vice. 30 May 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d "56 Dean Street website". Archived from the original on 25 July 2016.
  13. ^ "CQC Care Quality Commission. Chelsea and Westminster hospital NHS Foundation Trust Quality report 2014". Archived from the original on 15 September 2020.
  14. ^ "NHS trust fined for 56 Dean Street HIV status leak". BBC. 6 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Man awarded compensation following sexual assault by a nurse at London sexual health clinic". 28 February 2018.

Coordinates: 51°30′45″N 0°07′55″W / 51.5125°N 0.1320°W / 51.5125; -0.1320