Genitourinary medicine services in the United Kingdom are failing to meet current demand

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Summary:Recent increases in the incidence of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the UK have given rise to concerns over the ability of genitourinary medicine (GUM) services to cope with increased demands. We conducted a postal survey to assess the capacity of GUM clinics to meet patient demand for both routine and emergency consultations. A questionnaire was sent to all lead GUM physicians in the UK. The response rate was 80%. In some clinics, patients had to wait for up to 28 days for routine appointments. Urgent appointment patients were seen within 24 h by only 54% of clinics and some had to wait for at least one week (5% of clinics). Prolonged waiting times were reported nationwide in addition to widely expressed concerns about the increasing workload. Additional resources should be made available to GUM services if the population's sexual health is to be improved.

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