Edinburgh & Lothian MSM Services

The following statement has been issued today (Thursday 11 February) by LGBT Health, Gay Men’s Health, Waverley Care and NHS Lothian.

Joint statement on the provision of services in Edinburgh and the Lothians to improve the sexual health and wellbeing of men who have sex with men.

From 1st April 2016 the provision of sexual health and wellbeing support services in Edinburgh and the Lothians for men who have sex with men (MSM) will transfer from Gay Men’s Health to a new dedicated MSM project provided jointly by LGBT Health and Waverley Care.

The services that will transfer are funded by NHS Lothian and include sexual health screening and testing, counselling, one-to-one support, group support, STI and HIV prevention work and condom distribution.

Staff from Gay Men’s Health are working closely with colleagues from LGBT Health, Waverley Care and NHS Lothian to ensure the effective transfer of the valued services.

Alastair Rose, Senior Manager at Gay Men’s Health said “The welfare of the men we support is at the forefront of our minds and we are confident of a smooth transfer of services. We have worked closely with both LGBT Health and Waverley Care in the past and are optimistic about the new project’s ability to both continue and develop MSM support in Lothian. We will continue to support our service users as we effect the transition and are working to make the transfer as seamless as possible.”

He added “We are very grateful for the dedication of our much-valued volunteers who donate their time to support these services. We have communicated the changes to them and will keep them up-to-date in the coming weeks.”

The services being transferred will become part of a new dedicated MSM project.  Over the coming months, gay and bisexual men in Lothian will have the opportunity to help in the development of the project, from naming and branding to the future direction of the services.

Waverley Care Chief Executive Grant Sugden said “We are excited to be taking on the sexual health and wellbeing services for MSM in Lothian. We aim to continue and build on the excellent achievements of the work of Gay Men’s Health and deliver services that improve the physical, sexual, mental health and wellbeing of the men we will work alongside.”

LGBT Health Chief Executive Maruska Greenwood said “We’re looking forward to the new opportunities that the project will present; particularly for men accessing MSM services to connect with additional support provided by our two charities. This includes clear links between mental and emotional health and wellbeing and sexual health – issues that were highlighted by the 2014 NHS Lothian and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde HIV Prevention Needs Assessment of Men Who Have Sex With Men.”

If any volunteers or service users have questions about the changes, they are asked to contact their service provider by phone or email.