Health Advisers work in Departments of Genitourinary Medicine (GUM Clinics) .
The Society of Health Advisers in Sexually Transmitted Diseases (SHASTD) is a U.K. national organisation with approximately 300 members out of an estimated 350 health advisers in the country. It provides an opportunity for members to meet and work towards further professional development.
The role of the Health Adviser varies enormously from clinic to clinic. It involves working with individuals and groups affected by issues related to sexual health in general and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV) in particular. Their role will commonly embrace the following features;
There is no core qualification for health advising though training courses are run by various educational establishments to better equip them in their role. Health Advisers come from a variety of professional backgrounds including Nursing, Health Visiting and Social Work.
Local groups meet regularly and an annual conference is held each Spring.
A Council of elected officers and regional representatives meets 6 times a year. It sets standards, produces statements and addresses specific issues by setting up working groups.
As part of the amicus MSF union SHASTD members can benefit from expert help in raising and resolving problems encountered at the workplace ie grievances, pay and conditions.
Membership also includes professional liability insurance of up to £3 million for civil liability.
Why not drop into our discussion group if you would like to explore an issue with a wider audience? If you are a SHASTD member then the professional forum is a closed one and therefore only open for colleagues to contribute.