NHS website visits to sexual health clinic search tool rise 38% after a bank holiday

An NHS search tool aimed at helping people find local sexual health services attracts a third more visits following a bank holiday, latest figures show. 

Analysis carried out by NHS England, which runs the NHS website, found page visits to the tool increased to an average of 7,414 in the 24 hours following the summer bank holiday weekends in May, June and August last year – equivalent to one visit every 12 seconds.

This is compared to a daily average of 5,387 visits to the Find a sexual health clinic search tool for 2022, which is an increase of 38%.

The tool invites visitors to search for a sexual health clinic in their area by entering their town, city or postcode. The search directs people to a list of local clinics with links they can click on for more information including opening times, contact details and what services they provide.

Last year’s May Day bank holiday saw 6,840 visits to the search tool on Tuesday 3 May 2022. The extended Jubilee bank holiday weekend, which gave people time off on the Thursday and Friday, also saw a hike in page visits to 7,628 on Monday 6 June 2022.

There was also a peak following the August bank holiday weekend with 7,774 visits on Tuesday 30 August 2022.

Robert Cleary, NHS England’s Content Director for the NHS website, said: “Our Find a sexual health clinic page is designed to help people search for the most appropriate service to meet their health needs, within their local area.

“The NHS website is available every day of the year for anyone who needs it and provides information and advice in easy-to-understand language on a wide range of conditions, making it accessible for all and easy for people to receive health advice and support from a trustworthy source.”

Information on accessing sexual health services and information about contraception and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), planning a pregnancy, abortion, sexual problems and sexual assault is also available on the NHS website via the Guide to sexual health services page.

The NHS website is the UK’s biggest health website with an estimated 2.6 million visits a day in 2022 from people seeking information and advice.

It includes over 4,000 pages and provides information about 990 medical conditions as well other health services including applying for a free UK Global Health Insurance Card for healthcare cover abroad, finding a GP, and a pregnancy due date calculator.

The most popular page on the NHS website in 2022 was the COVID-19 vaccination booking page, with 60 million visits.