Urgent Help/Emergencies

This section provides details on what to do if you had unplanned or unwanted sex and want to minimize risk,  or in the case of sexual assault and rape, details on where to go for help and how to report it.


PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) – Exposure to HIV

PEP for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) are tablets taken to reduce the risk of catching HIV within 72 hours of coming in contact with the virus. It should be started as soon as possible after contact as it will be more effective. The tablets are taken for a period of 4weeks. As it is not guaranteed to work, it is advisable to have protected sex (condoms) as this is more effective at preventing HIV transmission and also reduces the risk of contracting other STIs.

Sexual Health clinics and Accident & Emergency can provide PEP.

PEP is not available from your GP or at any pharmacies.

PEP is only available from our clinics in St Hugh’s, Bootle and Southport Centre for Health & Wellbeing. Ring Sefton Sexual Health on 01695 656550 to arrange a consultation

For more information please read this leaflet PEP Patient leaflet  or visit  https://www.nhs.uk/can-post-exposure-prophylaxis-pep-stop-me-getting-hiv/



Emergency Contraception

If you’ve had unprotected sex or think your contraception might have failed, you can use emergency contraception. The most effective method of emergency contraception is to have an IUD fitted. This can then be left fitted if you still need long term contraceptive cover. Emergency contraception pills can be very effective, but are not as effective as the IUD, or using other methods of contraception regularly and correctly.

There are different types of emergency contraception:

  • emergency intrauterine device (IUD or emergency coil) – this is the most effective
  • emergency contraceptive pill – the sooner after sex you use this the more effective it will be. There are two types in the UK:
    • Ulipristal acetate (UPA) – ellaOne is currently the only brand available in the UK
    • Levonorgestrel – different brands are available

Emergency contraception does not cause an abortion or protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). 

For further information visit https://www.sexwise.org.uk/contraception/emergency-contraception

Download fpa leaflet

You can calculate your risk of falling pregnant by following this link to the SXT website and clicking on the link to emergency contraception https://sxt.org.uk/

Where can I find emergency contraception in Sefton?

Emergency contraception is free and available from  all Sefton Sexual Health Clinics, ring Sefton Sexual Health on 01695 656550 to arrange a consultation, community pharmacies, Walk-In Centres and hospital A&E Departments,

List of community pharmacies here. However, if not listed you may be expected to pay.

COVID – 19 April 2020. Please note that during this period, some pharmacies may have changed their opening times and some may be shut. Please phone ahead to check.

During Bank Holidays you may wish to call before you visit a pharmacy to check opening times.


Sexual Assault and Rape

Reporting a crime & support

If you have been sexually assaulted or raped there are different services to support you.

Call 999 for emergency assistance from the Police

Merseyside Police has specially trained officers, who are dedicated to helping and supporting victims of all sexual assault and rape. These officers will investigate offences in a discreet and professional manner, offering support and guidance from the time of reporting through to the conclusion of an investigation.

Merseyside Police treat historic incidents of rape or sexual assault just as seriously as recent ones. If you would like to report a crime that has happened in the past please call 101 and a specially trained officer will attend.

For more information visit Merseyside-police/how-to-report-rape-and-sexual-health

* Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC)

Telephone: 0151 295 3550  – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


Telephone: 01772 523344 – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year


What do the SARCs  provide?

  • Forensic medical examination
  • Emergency contraception
  • PEPSE* if appropriate
  • Advice on screening for sexually transmitted Infections
  • Hepatitis ‘B’ vaccination
  • Referral to an Independent Sexual Violence Adviser and other appropriate support services
  • Informal discussion with a specially trained police officer (if requested)
  • Translation services if English is not your first language

* A course of treatment to help prevent the onset of HIV in those who are at risk (this must be administered within 72 hours of an assault).




*Health Sexual Violence Liaison Officer

Independent support worker (not police) who offers support and advice to victims of sexual abuse no matter when the incident occurred.

Faye triages victims/survivors of sexual abuse to ensure they receive the correct support.  This can involves support within the criminal justice system process, accessing trauma based counselling, advocating on behalf of the victim with your GP, workplace, education setting etc. This support is victim led and non-judgemental. For more information, please follow this link

Faye Speed                                    Health Sexual Violence Liaison Officer

Tel: 01704 705248                      Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mobile: 07818533845

Email: Soh-tr.safeguardingadults@nhs.net