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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
More inWhite Papers  

a lady pharmacist talking to patient cbOctober 18 2017

Pharmacies are the most common venues to offer free condoms to young adults under a C-Card scheme, analysis of data in England has found.

 In its survey of sexual health commissioners, Public Health England found that pharmacies accounted for three out of ten of the 4,828 C-Card outlets reported by 61 upper tier local authorities in 2015-16. In terms of most common venues, 60 UTLAs reported 4,560 outlets were participating.

“The three most common C-Card venue types in England were pharmacy (1,363/4,560, 30%), youth voluntary organisations and educational settings (1,105/4,560, 24%) and general practice (GP) (996/4,560, 22%) followed by other (792/4,560, 17%) and genitourinary medicine (GUM) and sexual health and reproductive health (SHRH) services (304/4,560, 7%),” said PHE.

NICE categorises three types of condom distribution schemes:

  • single component schemes which provide free condoms;
  • multicomponent schemes which offer free condoms as well as additional services such as support and training (eg C-Card);
  • cost-price sales schemes.

The C-Card can entitle people aged from 13 upwards to free condoms. The upper age varies from 19 to 25 depending on the local scheme. “The first multicomponent condom distribution scheme (C-Card) was developed in 1989 in Edinburgh. Almost three decades have passed and C-Card schemes are now widespread and the most common type of CDS in the UK,” said PHE.

Results for other condom distribution scheme (CDS) outlets found 504 outlets reported in 13 UTLAs. “Of these outlets, the most common venue types were GP (167/504, 33%), outreach and education settings (148/504, 29%), and pharmacies (100/504, 20%).”

Discussing the findings, the PHE report says: “The popularity of pharmacies has been attributed to extended opening hours, availability of private consultation areas and not having to make an appointment.

“However, location and setting of pharmacies may also influence their popularity. For instance, pharmacies in urban areas were five times more likely to have extended opening hours, compared to rural areas; pharmacies in healthcare settings were three times more likely to provide youth-specific health information compared to retail settings.”

In addition, PHE said: “The large number of pharmacies providing outlets for C-Card schemes should encourage further research, development and promotion in enhancing the role of pharmacies in local sexual health provision.”

Links:
PHE announcement         
PHE ‘Research and analysis Condom distribution schemes in England 2015/16’ document                  

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