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Whittall Street Clinic is featured in Channel 4's new programme ‘The Sex Clinic’, starts 10pm Thursday 11th April.
New Rapid HIV Testing clinic at St Martin’s in the Bullring
Now open every Tuesday 11.00am - 3.15pm - no appointment needed.
The clinic is located upstairs in the St Martin’s Centre for Health & Healing next to the Church in the Bullring. Entrance to the clinic is via St Martin’s church shop.
What happens when you visit Whittall Street Clinic or Boots GUM department?
Male Patient Journey
Female Patient Journey
When you arrive in Whittall Street Clinic, please go to the Welcome Desk where a member of our team will be able to help you.
If you have already booked your appointment
Please remember to bring your booking reference number with you. This number was text messaged to your mobile phone on booking the appointment. You will be directed to one of our kiosks in order to register yourself for your appointment.
If you do not have an appointment and are coming for a walk-in appointment
Our capacity for walk-in patients is limited at present so we are unable to guarantee you will be seen and may have to offer you an appointment to return at another time if you do drop in. You may wish to make an appointment via our on-line booking (available with certain browsers) or call 0121 237 5700. If you do drop in please go to the Welcome Desk where the receptionist will be able to check that we have an available slot for you. Once this has been done, the receptionist will then direct you to a kiosk where you will be able to self-register for your appointment. If we do not have any appointments available, we will aim to book you an appointment at the earliest time which is convenient for you.
Advice on using the kiosk
Please read the instructions for each question carefully and take your time typing in your reply. Please make sure you correct any mis-spellings before proceeding to the next page. Those who have booked their appointment online have to answer to fewer questions in the kiosks and can be seen faster.
If you need any help using the kiosk please let a member of the reception team know and they will be able to assist you. Once you have finished at the kiosk you will be directed to the waiting area to wait for your appointment.
You’ll be asked about any current problems you have and specific questions to determine if you may be at a higher risk of having an infection.
This information helps us decide whether you’ll be seen in the check-up clinic or if you’ll be seen by a doctor or senior nurse.
These questions are obviously personal, but please don’t be embarrassed.
We ask everybody the same questions and some may not apply to you. They’re very important in deciding which tests to do, so do be as truthful as possible. Remember, we do not judge anyone!
All your information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
After registration at the kiosk, you will be directed to the waiting areas. Depending on the complexity of patients before you, waiting time for different patients may vary. You may even notice that some patients arriving after you are called in before you. This is because of the different clinics we run at any time. Please be patient, we do everything that we can to reduce your waiting time.
Please let the reception staff know when you book your appointment, if you require an interpreter during your consultation. We use a telephone interpreting service, so no one will be present in the clinic room. Unfortunately, it’s not appropriate to use friends or relatives as interpreters because we’re providing a confidential service.
Waiting time when in the clinic
A full check-up may take up to an hour and a half, so please allow this much time for your visit.
Please make sure you arrive in the clinic at least five minutes before your appointment, Booking your appointment online will make your registration in the clinic faster.
If you are attending for a check-up, blood test, treatment or results only, this shouldn’t take longer than 30-40 minutes.
Please be patient, as there are different clinics running at the same time, so it may seem like someone has been seen before you. However if you have been waiting for more than half an hour please inform a member of staff.
In clinic room
When called to the room, you will be seen by a doctor or a nurse. A chaperone will also be present. They will help the doctor or the nurse during taking specimens. There may also be a medical student present in the room. Please let us know if you prefer them to leave the room.
You’ll be asked some further questions about your current problem, your general health and sexual history. Sexual history questions are things like when you last had sex, your sexual orientation (heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual), the type of sex you had (oral, anal) and if you had protected or unprotected sex.
Patients without any symptoms may be seen by a nurse in a check-up clinic. Allocation to this clinic depends on your replies to the registration questions on online booking or the kiosks. Some patients disclose some symptoms to the nurse at this stage. This is alright. The nurse will refer them to the doctor’s clinic. Those patients need to wait for their turn to be seen.
Patients attending check-up clinic will routinely be offered to be tested for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV and syphilis. The nurse will take your blood for syphilis and HIV testing. Men will have to provide urine specimen for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing. Men with history of receptive anal sex will be handed a swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing that they should take from their back passage in the toilet. Men who have performed oral sex on other men need to have an oral swab taken for chlamydia and gonorrhoea by the nurse.
Women need to take a self collecting swab from their vagina in the toilet. Women with history of receptive anal sex will be handed a swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing that they should take from their back passage in the toilet. Women who have performed oral sex need to have an oral swab taken for chlamydia and gonorrhoea by the nurse.
If you have symptoms, the doctor or nurse will need to examine you (more precisely, your genital area) and test you for STI. First, your blood will be taken by the chaperone. We test the same blood specimen for HIV and syphilis.
For men, a genital examination will be performed first. This should not take more than two minutes. Swabs are then taken from the urethra (where you pee from) and this is why it’s important for men not to pee for at least one hour before their appointment - if they do, signs of infection can be temporarily washed away. We use loops and tiny swabs. These may cause slight discomfort but can not harm you.
A rectal swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing will be obtained from men with history of receptive anal sex. Men who have performed oral sex need to have an oral swab taken for chlamydia and gonorrhoea by the nurse.
For women, a genital examination will be performed through the use of a speculum. Speculum is a plastic instrument made of two blunt blades that provides access to women’s cervix (neck of womb). Examination with a speculum should not be painful. It is important that you relax your abdominal muscles during examination; speculum is not strong enough to overcome your muscles. With your cooperation, speculum examination should not take more than one minute. During speculum examination swabs from cervix and end of vagina are obtained to test for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, trichomonas, bacterial vaginosis, and thrush.
A rectal swab for chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing will be obtained from women with history of receptive anal sex. Women who have performed oral sex need to have an oral swab taken for chlamydia and gonorrhoea by the nurse.
Some women may also need to undergo a bi-manual examination. This examination allows the doctor to assess your pelvic organs, mainly your ovaries, and uterus (womb).
Please note that more swabs may need to be obtained from patients with symptoms. The doctor will explain this to you when indicated.
After the examination, you may be asked to provide a urine sample.
Receiving test results
Depending on the tests, some of the results maybe ready on the day of your visit. If we find an infection at your visit, you’ll be given treatment straight away.
Most results take up to one week to be ready. Some test results may take a bit longer. Your result will be automatically sent to your mobile as a text message. This is the fastest method to be informed of your test result. Some patients do not permit us to text their test results to their mobiles. We shall send their results by post or telephone (whichever you have chosen) only if a result is abnormal, that may take longer to reach them.
If you have no reliable way for us to contact you, or you want to receive results whatever they are, we’ll make an appointment for you to come back. Please make sure you keep your appointment. This is the slowest way of receiving your test results.
What if your test result was positive (abnormal) for an infection?
If your test was positive for any infection, you can return to Whittall Street Clinic for free treatment. In order to reduce the chance of complications, it is important your infection is treated as soon as possible.
Your partner(s) in the past three months also need to be tested and treated for the infection. Treating your partner(s) will reduce the spread of the infection and development of its complications.
Our trained health advisors and nurses will provide you with information on the infection and its complications if left untreated. They will also help you to inform your partners in a timely manner without compromising your confidentiality.
Why and how to inform your partners?
Untreated sexually transmitted infections can cause serious health problems if untreated. Most of people infected with STI are unaware of their infection.
If you are diagnosed with an infection, treating your partner(s) will protect you from catching infection again. Treating your ex-partners may not only prevent them from having serious health problems but also stop the infection being passed on to others. Treatment of STI and prevention of their spread is also our responsibility. It is for this reason we have trained staff to perform partner notification.
Informing partners of their risk of a STI is a sensitive issue. Our health advisors can help you with this task. They can contact your partner(s) and inform them that they may be at risk of the STI you have been diagnosed with without naming you. You need to leave your partner(s) name, age, and contact details (preferably mobile number) with the health advisors.
Some patients may choose to inform their partners themselves. In that case, our health advisors will contact them after a few weeks to confirm the partner(s) have been informed. This is to ensure we have fulfilled our duty.
We believe letting our health advisors to contact your partner(s) is the most convenient way for you; we do not need to contact you again. Remember we shall never disclose your identity to your partners without your permission.