A part of the Interreg VA 2Seas programme
Promoting better access to sexual health support and care for older people
Sexual Health In the over ForTy-fives (SHIFT) is part of the Interreg VA 2Seas programme and will run from 1 March 2019 to the 30 September 2022. The University of Chichester’s Institute of Sport was awarded funding for the project from the European Regional Development Fund of over €4 million.
SHIFT is led by the Institute of Sport together with the Department of Psychology of the Institute of Education Health and Social Sciences, and also involves partners from the UK, the Netherlands, France and Belgium. This project constitutes a demonstration of the excellent cross-disciplinary and collaborative work fostered and developed by the University of Chichester.
- Report of the SHIFT EU Interreg 2Seas Region Project: The Barriers and Facilitators of Sexual Health and Wellbeing for Over 45s Who Face One or More Socioeconomic Disadvantage. — February 2021
- Report of the SHIFT EU Interreg 2Seas Region Project: The Barriers and Facilitators of Sexual Health and Wellbeing for Over 45s — November 2020
- Report of the SHIFT EU Interreg 2Seas Region Project Survey of Needs, Awareness, Knowledge, Access and Attitudes Toward Sexual Health Wellbeing and Services in Over-45s— July 2020
Studies in/beyond Europe (eg WHO’s Sexual Health Throughout Life) highlight the need for older people to have betteraccess to sexual health support/care. These identify that older age groups are rarely a focus in European & domestic policies across the 2Seas area. The correlation is clear between this gap in services & the rise in Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) rates. The over-45s at risk are generally those entering new sexual relationships after a period of monogamy, often post-menopause (removing the issue of pregnancy, without thought to STIs). Our engagement with relevant services suggests lack of knowledge/tools for health services approaching the issue and offering information/treatment. Within this target group, partner research has shown that groups with one or more socio-economic disadvantages (homeless people/sex workers/non-native language speakers/migrants) are at even greater risk of being unaware of their sexual health and unable to access the appropriate services.
The objective of the project is to empower people aged over 45 to participate in sexual health services & improve their sexual health & wellbeing, with an additional and specifically adapted focus on socio-economically disadvantaged groups across the 2Seas area. The empowerment will avoid assumption by using insight gathering & testing existing evidence. In co-creating a service redesign, the healthcare systems currently in place will be adapted to provide services that are properly suited to these groups. Consequently, SHIFT will improve awareness in the target groups and access to sexual health services, therefore increasing wellbeing, testing for STIs and HIV & avoidance of undiagnosed communicable STIs & HIV amongst the over 45s and socio-economically disadvantaged groups. This will lead to improving the quality of life of people aged over 45 (with specific focus on vulnerable groups) & a decrease in health inequalities.
Meet the Team
The SHIFT Project Partnership includes Kent County Council, East Sussex County Council, Medway Council (all UK), and Kent Community Hospitals Trust (KCHFT) and Metro Charity (UK), SoSAIDS Charity (Netherlands), and University of Antwerp (Belgium) and Odisee University (Belgium).
In addition to our staff listed below, our team members include Dr. Ruth Lowry (email@example.com).
University of Chichester Staff
Professor Mike Lauder
Director of the Chichester Institute of Sport, Nursing and Allied Health, Professor of Sports Biomechanics & Cross-Institutional Lead for Health
Dr Moitree Banerjee
Reader in Clinical Psychology, Head of Psychology Programmes
SHIFT: Live Panel
Watch Metro's Live Panel on the SHIFT Project
Metro Charity in London, one of the SHIFT Project partners, hosted a Facebook and Youtube live Panel Discussion event with Amanda Jeffrey (Metro, host), Dr. Mun Yee Tung (Kent Community Hospitals Foundation Trust), Steve Chevis (Medway Council), Ross Bosely (East Sussex Council), and Dr. Ian Tyndall and Tess Hartland (University of Chichester, Project Evaluation partners in December 2020 to present the core mission, values, and initial research findings with respect to enhancing sexual health and wellbeing of people over 45 and vulnerable groups. A YouTube recording of the panel discussion can be found below.