"Helped bring us closer together again"

About: Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust / Contraception and sexual health services

(as the patient),

I was referred into the Jarman Centre psycho-sexual service when I went to a clinic for my achy legs, and one of the nurses at the clinic said, “Do you have any problems with erection? ” And I thought about it, because I had sort of denied it for a couple of years, and I just said yes. And she said “do you want to take this leaflet? And I took it, and I said to my wife what do you think about this? For about two years, it has been gradually been getting worse and worse, and less often. And I put it down to old age and my wife kept saying “you don’t want me anymore” and so eventually I thought I will go to the clinic

We had thought something was not right for some time and at first I went to my GP but that was not a very good experience. I tried to broach the subject that I was having problems with sustaining erections, and he just threw the most cruddy, photocopied piece of literature at me and said, “oh well, just read this” and that was it. I was quite surprised, because I have always rated him as a good doctor that I could go to with other problems and talk about, and he was fantastic. And then he just seemed quite embarrassed and said “here read that”.

My wife was getting more and more worried about our relationship and that I no longer loved her. So we were pleased that the leg clinic was able to refer me to this service. The problem was the veins, the traffic of blood within the veins wasn’t working sufficiently. The nurse at the leg clinic gave me the literature for the psycho-sexual health service. We had no comprehension that such a place existed. The only solution we could think of was Viagra.

The clinic was excellent in providing the information we needed. We were given some real choices and quality information that we could follow. The therapist made it easy for us to discuss the condition and make the right decision around medication which we had confidence in. We were given time to make the right set of choices which has helped bring us closer together again.

We both would definitely recommend this service and urge anyone struggling with this condition to seek professional help and use this service.

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Response from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Many thanks for sharing your experiences of the service on Patient Opinion. It is always good to hear how we have been able to help people overcome difficulties in their lives and relationships. The psycho-sexual service - SHARE - provides confidential specialist support for individuals and couples experiencing problems with sexual functioning and intimate relationships as well as concerns about sexuality, gender, sexual orientation and lifestyle.

It is well known that many sexual difficulties have an underlying physical contributory factor and it is essential that these issues are diagnosed and treated if appropriate or excluded. Lifestyle, recreational drug and alcohol use, smoking and prescribed medication can also be factors. Stress and social issues, relationship incompatibility, negative childhood experiences, mental health issues and times when our psychological sense of wellbeing is affected, may also precipitate the difficulty.

The service is based at the Jarman Centre in Blackburn and has satellite services at Yarnspinners PHCC Nelson, St Peters Centre Burnley and ACORN PHCC Accrington.

Referrals are accepted from a variety of services including GPs, Nurses, Contraceptive Service (CaSH), GUM Services, Mental Health Services and Social Care to name a few.

If you feel unable to approach a professional and discuss being referred into the service please contact us directly on 07538 475987 or 01254 669429 or email us at SHARE@lancashirecare.nhs.uk and we will do everything we can to assist.

Carole Roberts

Principal Psychosexual Therapist and Service Lead

The Jarman Centre

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