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Dean Street Express


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  • 1 year later...

Does anyone else who uses Dean Street Express have a gold card?

I was there today, having booked a 'time-slot', and when I mentioned to the nurse who was taking my bloods that I was sex worker, he asked if I had a gold card. He explained that a gold card allows you to bypass the appointment system and use the clinic as it was originally, that is, you can walk-in off the street and get a check-up. You just show your gold card at reception when you go in. (Instead of an actual gold card, they can send you a 'gold text' which you save on your phone and show each time, instead of the 'time-slot' text that you usually get when booking an appointment).
I asked how long the scheme had been running for, he said about a year. But I've been to Dean Street Express several times in the last year, each time I've mentioned being an escort, and nobody has ever said about this gold card. Maybe they've all just assumed I already had one.

So I wondered if anyone else had one and if so, what's been your experience of using it? (Like, longer waiting times to be seen, anything like that.)

It's nice to have finally achieved the status of a VIP. Feels somewhat inevitable that it's in connection with a clap clinic.

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  • 8 months later...

A "gold card" with Dean Street Express is usually for folk who are HIV+ so they can get priority treatment.  I know HIV+ folk get them automatically from 56 Dean Street, but it makes sense for sex workers to be given them too. 

But, these are something that the main Consultants or Health Advisers at 56 Dean Street can only "prescribe". The staff at Express are mainly there to ensure the automated systems run smoothly, so they wouldn't have the authority to let people jump the queue.  I'd speak to a Health Adviser at 56.

The only real benefit to one is you literally just get to drop in to Express for a self-service MOT whenever you like, without needing to book a time slot the day before.  It's not like a Sainsbury's Reward Card, sorry  :D

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I’ve got one Rab. I told them I did sex work and they said they’d put it on my record so that I don’t need to book an appointment, just turn up and you’ll get tested. I can’t remember what they called it but it’s definitely not necessary for me to book a time slot. I avoid obvious busy times however as there’s still a wait.

It is slightly surreal to have sort of VIP priority status at the clinic but I think of it as turning left on boarding an aeroplane; if you’re able to then why not make life a bit more comfortable and convenient? 

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It's sad to see Tory cuts finally hitting Dean Street. It was the last hope for a decent sexual health service in London. The Tories, for no logical reason, hived off sexual health from the NHS and forced local authorities to fund it, but with no ringfenced money and ever decreasing council incomes this sort of thing was inevitable. I keep hearing again and again that it's almost impossible to get a same day appointment anywhere in London now, and most don't allow advanced appointments. You don't have to be a genius to work out what the inevitable result of this will be - increased sti levels (already happening) due to increased waits, decreased detection and people just giving up after being constantly told to "come back tomorrow". This is the broken health service the Tories always have and always will give us. A mate of mine was raped 6 months ago and he had to wait for 4 hours to be seen at an inner London sexual health clinic (not Dean Street), despite my constant protestations. I've made a complaint and they keep fobbing me off, not realising I know their industry well and will soon be escalating it way over their heads, and I'll be baying for their blood. They've admitted procedures weren't followed but done nothing about it, but I won't go into detail or I'll be here all day. What appalls me is that anyone would choose to vote for this, but they do, like lemmings jumping off a cliff. Ah, the Brits, masters of self-flagellation - and not much else. 

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