Scheme promotes healthy sexual relationships

NHS Borders has teamed up with Scottish Borders Council education and lifelong learning to launch a new scheme to promote a respectful approach to sexuality and sexual health.

The Ccard scheme is part of ongoing national and local work which aims to ensure that relationships are free of coercion, discrimination and violence and to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections is generally higher in those under 25 so the scheme, which includes access to free condoms, is targeted at this age group. Young people who want to take part in the scheme will be able to get a Ccard from Ccard access points after an initial consultation with a trained member of staff. The consultation will involve a discussion on healthy respectful relationships, safe sex and contraception use.

Dr Eric Baijal, joint director of public health for NHS Borders and SBC said: “The Ccard scheme is an innovative way to help young people access relationship advice and sexual health services. It’s important that young people have accurate information so that when they are ready to have sex they do so responsibly and safely using a reliable method of contraception that protects them from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections including HIV.”

Young people have been involved in developing the Ccard scheme and the response to its introduction from professionals and young people alike has been overwhelmingly positive. Many other areas in Scotland have successfully introduced similar schemes.

Jackie Swanston, Scottish Borders Council head of schools (East), added: “Ccard is an example of the NHS working with local people to make sure services reflect their needs, we will continue to work with NHS Borders to develop new and creative ways to support young people to improve their health and longer term wellbeing”.

For more information about sexual health and relationships and the Ccard scheme go to www.borderssexualhealth.org.uk and www.sexualhealthscotland.com