Doctors must improve how they deal with patients seeking sexual health treatment at their surgeries, according to new research.
A study carried out by University College London found a massive gap between the services and experiences expected by patients seeking such care and those they actually received from their GP.
Most patients expected written referral or in-house treatment but many thought their doctor was "avoiding" talking about sexual health issues; that they were not formally referred; or that they were given inappropriate information.
The researchers noted that in the case of a dedicated sexual health service at one GP surgery, patient expectations were well met.
Therefore, they recommended patients should be formally referred to a specialised clinic where the facility was unavailable in the GP surgery setting.