Chlamydia screening

Chlamydia (genital chlamydial trachomatis) is the most commonly diagnosed bacterial sexually transmitted infection in England, with rates substantially higher in young adults than any other age group. It causes avoidable sexual and reproductive ill-health, including symptomatic acute infections and complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy and tubal-factor infertility. The National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) recommends screening for all sexually active young people under-25 annually, or on change of partner (whichever is more frequent).

The Department of Health Public Health Outcomes Framework recommends that local areas aim to achieve a chlamydia detection rate among 15 to 24-year-olds of at least 2,300 per 100,000 population.

The Department of Health has also outlined its ambition for good sexual health in A Framework for Sexual Health Improvement in England.

Key findings for Lancashire-14, 2016

  • In the Lancashire-12 area  the proportion of the population (19.9%) aged 15 to 24 screened for chlamydia in specialist, non-specialist sexual health services is significantly worse than the England rate (20.7%). In Blackburn with Darwen (33.7%) this proportion is better than the England rate and in Blackpool (21.3%) it is similar.
  • Preston (33.0%), Burnley (21.8%) and Lancaster (21.4%) have the highest screening rates in Lancashire-12.
  • Lancashire-12's rate (2,101) of chlamydia detection per 100,000 young people aged 15 to 24 is similar to the target of 2,300 recommended by the Department of Health Public Health Outcomes Framework.
  • Blackburn with Darwen (4,173) and Blackpool's rate (2,826) of chlamydia detection per 100,000 young people aged 15 to 24 is above the target of 2,300.
  • In Lancashire-12 in total there were 4,451 chlamydia diagnoses in 2016, a 4% decrease on 2015 (4,662). The rate of new diagnoses was 374 per 100,000 population, compared with 391 in 2015.
  • Lancashire-12's (374) rate of chlamydia diagnoses per 100,000 population is similar to the England rate (364). Blackburn with Darwen (759) and Blackpool's (492) chlamydia diagnoses rate is significantly higher than the England rate.
  • In Preston (764), Lancaster (526) and Burnley (521) the rate of chlamydia diagnoses per 100,000 population is significantly higher than the England rate whereas in eight districts (apart from West Lancashire) it is lower; in West Lancashire chlamydia diagnoses per 100,000 population is similar to the England rate.

From the available data and intelligence and the recently published sexual health needs assessment (2015) there are a number of recommendations relating to access to testing and treatment for chlamydia. These are:

  • increase access to chlamydia screening in primary care;
  • continue to offer screening to all women undergoing abortion;
  • investigate the benefit of widening access to screening through pharmacies and to include treatment and partner notification;
  • promote and increase testing in areas where uptake is currently low; and
  • embed chlamydia screening in core services, and measure and respond to any poor performance.

Further analysis

Chlamydia Lancashire-14 (XLS 185 KB)

Page updated October 2017