Quality statement 3: Condom distribution schemes

Quality statement

Local authorities provide a range of condom distribution schemes tailored to the needs of their populations.

Rationale

Providing a variety of condom distribution schemes ensures that different populations, including those most at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), can access a scheme that will meet their needs. Condom schemes should be provided alongside existing services that are likely to be used by people most at risk of getting an STI. This can increase rates of condom use and reduce STI rates.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements to assess the needs of local populations for condom distribution schemes.

Data source: Local data collection, such as needs assessments based on consultation and STI rates.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to provide a range of condom distribution schemes tailored to the needs of the population.

Data source: Local data collection, such as service specifications for a mix of different types of condom distribution scheme.

c) Evidence of local arrangements to publicise condom distribution schemes to people most at risk of getting an STI.

Data source: Local data collection, such as posters, leaflets and social media campaigns.

Outcome

a) Proportion of people who are at risk of STIs who used a condom at last intercourse.

Data source: Local data collection, such as a survey of young people or other groups at risk of STIs.

b) New STI diagnoses (excluding chlamydia in people aged under 25) per 100,000 people aged 15 to 64.

Data source: These data are collected as part of Public Health England's Sexual and reproductive health profiles.

c) Chlamydia detection rate per 100,000 people aged 15 to 24.

Data source: These data are collected as part of Public Health England's Sexual and reproductive health profiles.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (voluntary sector services, school health services and primary healthcare services) provide a range of condom distribution schemes tailored to the needs of different local populations. Service providers publicise condom schemes to people most at risk of getting an STI. Service providers also ensure that referral pathways are in place to other services to meet the needs of those using the service.

Healthcare professionals (such as GPs, practice nurses, pharmacists and sexual health consultants) are aware of condom distribution schemes and tell people who are at risk of getting an STI how to access them.

Commissioners (local authorities) ensure that they commission a mix of different types of condom distribution schemes tailored to the needs of the population, including multicomponent schemes, single-component schemes (free condoms) and cost-price sales schemes. Commissioners should commission tailored multicomponent condom schemes in preference to other types of condom scheme for young people aged under 16. Commissioners ensure there are links between condom schemes and local sexual and reproductive health services.

People at risk of getting an STI are made aware of where they can get condoms.

Source guidance

Sexually transmitted infections: condom distribution schemes (2017) NICE guideline NG68, recommendation 1.1.1

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Condom distribution schemes

These are usually referred to as 'condom schemes'. The term refers to all schemes that provide free or cost-price condoms, female condoms and dental dams, with or without lubricant. Schemes also offer advice, information or support. They include:

  • Cost-price sales schemes that provide cost-price condoms and, if appropriate, lubricant. They include community schemes that provide cost-price condoms to sex workers and online services.

  • Multicomponent schemes (such as C-card) that distribute free condoms with or without lubricant, together with training, information or other support.

  • Single-component schemes that provide or distribute free condoms and if appropriate, lubricant. This includes online services for specific groups or areas of the country, and distribution schemes in public places.

[NICE's guideline on sexually transmitted infections: condom distribution schemes, terms used in this guideline]

Equality and diversity considerations

Condom schemes should be accessible for young people including those who use public transport.

Safeguarding links should be in place with all services that may engage with young people and vulnerable adults about their sexual health. Services should be clear what action should be taken if concerns are raised about child sexual exploitation or abuse, female genital mutilation, human trafficking or modern slavery.