What have we achieved so far?
After extensive engagement with the HIV sector and people living with HIV in 2019, Fast-Track Cities London embarked on a programme of work to tackle stigma at all levels: self-stigma, organisational and societal. We worked with the National AIDS Trust and Britain Thinks on the national public knowledge and attitudes survey to set the baseline in London. We’ve also worked Kings College London and Barts to design a survey of NHS staff. 2022 saw us launch a series of 8 targeted empowerment programmes, which set the course for the launch of the HIV confident anti-stigma charter on April 1st this year, with the National AIDS Trust, Positively UK and NAM aidsmap, and the HIV ambassador programme working with the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Opt-out HIV testing in EDs
We supported NHS England London with the roll out of opt out HIV testing in all London’s EDs and are now designing a peer support specification so peer support can be available across all London HIV clinics.
We piloted a variety of projects through the Fast-Track Cities improvement collaborative that reached out to people from marginalised communities with unmet needs in faith settings, high streets, homeless hostels and migrant health centres. We are also supporting pilots in coloscopy clinics and primary care.
We funded research into mental health needs and solutions and a definition of preventable HIV deaths for consistent global use. We’ve part funded this year’s Gay Men’s Sexual health Survey and are looking at further research into mental health support. We are currently evaluating the improvement collaborative approach as a blue print for health planners, where the third sector works closely with the NHS to support people with long term health conditions.
We piloted an online mental health service tackling isolation and loneliness using counselling, mentoring and support groups. The initiative reached over 600 people with support, with 75% saying they felt more confident and less isolated as a result.
Fast-Track Cities London ran a £3 million, 3-year HIV improvement collaborative of 13 projects with 22 charities and 9 NHS trusts, delivered 1000s of hours of psychosocial support, over 5,000 HIV tests to marginalised communities who would otherwise never get a test, supported mums living with HIV and their children and secured over £1.8 million in benefits for patients.
Evolving HIV care in London
London co-produced the recommendations for the health and care system to deliver best possible HIV care for the future, working with clinicians and people living with HIV. The report was published in December 2021 and will inform HIV strategy and planning in London for the next 5 years.
Fast-Track Cities piloted three peer support services in HIV clinics. The peer support teams worked as part of the multi-disciplinary NHS team to improve quality of life for patients, increase well-being and signpost people living with HIV to other services like welfare benefit advice, food banks, housing, immigration and mental health services. This approach delivered a 12 fold increase in referrals to peer support, and in one clinic 85% of complex patients achieved an untransmissible HIV status.
Our work programme 2023-25
Fast-Track Cities London’s work programme for the next two years is based on helping the HIV sector to deliver the four key pillars of the HIV Action Plan for England and supports the priorities in London’s Evolving HIV care report.
The 2023-25 work plan builds on the successful previous three years of cross-sector partnership work. This includes extensive consultation and engagement with the HIV voluntary sector and community since 2019, to build the roadmap to zero and evolving HIV care priorities for London.
The HIV action plan pillars relating to the London system include:
- Fair access and uptake of HIV prevention programmes including PrEP
- Scaling up testing in line with national guidelines, considering the implications of London being a global city with highly migrant populations
- Optimising quick access to treatment and keeping people diagnosed in care
- Improving quality of life, particularly mental health and tackling stigma
There are five major workstreams for 2023-2025:
Primary care – working with NHSE to recruit 16 GP HIV champions who will be supported by a project officer to deliver a targeted work plan piloting testing and PrEP initiatives, case finding, getting people diagnosed back into treatment and working closely with HIV clinicians to support capacity and coordinated care.
Stigma – delivering the three year programme to tackle stigma and discrimination in London through the HIV confident anti-stigma charter mark (with National AIDS Trust) and the HIV Ambassadors (with Terrence Higgins Trust).
‘Getting to zero’ collaborative – we will shortly be launching the ‘Getting to zero’ collaborative, which will be looking for projects to tackle three major priorities for London over the next 18 months:
- Peer support in all HIV clinics
- People diagnosed re-engaged in care
- Improving quality of life and mental well-being
PrEP – working in partnership to develop a strategy for London and design suitable interventions.
London leadership – mapping, data and evaluation, communications and engagement, partnership working across the UK and internationally, sharing learning and best practice.
Keep up to date with all our latest news by signing up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page.