For Professionals

Training for Professionals

Open Doors can provide training for professionals on setting up and delivering comprehensive outreach, clinical and case management services to sex workers in your area.  To discuss your training or professional development needs please email Patricia Overy: 

Research and Academic Collaboration

We welcome enquiries from academic institutions interested in developing research with us.

Sex workers are an over-researched group and any research inquiry must support our work and add to a body of knowledge that improves services for our clients.

Before approaching us you should have a clear outline of your research intentions including:

  • the aims of the study
  • the researcher’s theoretical position
  • the proposed research design and methods
  • the ethical considerations to be taken into account and how these will be adhered to, including informed consent and confidentiality, and how the welfare of participants will be assured during the research
  • how users will be involved in the research
  • the use to which the research will be put, including how the findings from the research will be fed back to participants.

We also ask you to provide a current CV, which includes examples of previous work you have undertaken.

Research proposals should adhere to ethical practice and should have Research Ethics Committee approval from the university you are based in.  You will also need approval from the NHS Ethics Committee(s) before commencing the research.  If you are independent or not based in a university you still require NHS Research Ethics Committee approval.  
It is your responsibility to obtain this.
Guidance on ethics procedures for health organisations can also be found in the Department of Health Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care 

For further information on ethical practice, research with sex workers and background literature:

Campbell, R and M O'Neill (ed) Sex work now. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

Pitcher, J., Campbell, R., Hubbard, P., O'Neill, M., and Scoular, J., (2008) 'Diverse community responses to controversial urban issues: the contribution of qualitative research to policy development' in Maginn, PJ, Thompson, S and Tonts, M (ed) Qualitative Urban Analysis: an international perspective. Oxford: Elsevier.

Sanders, T (2006) 'Sexing up the subject: methodological nuances in the female sex industry'. Sexualities, 9(4): 471-490.

Sanders, T, M O'Neill and J Pitcher (2009) Prostitution: sex work, policy and politics. London: Sage.

Shaver, F M (2005) 'Sex work research: methodological and ethical challenges'. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20 (3): 296-319.

Social Research Association ethical guidelines

UKNSWP specialist sex work library has many useful references. 

If you would like to make an enquiry please email


Open Doors does not offer volunteer opportunities to work with our service users in a clinical, case management or outreach capacity as we are an NHS service bound by strict patient and procedural confidentiality.  


We welcome enquiries from students interested to learn more about our work.  However, we receive many requests for information and interviews for course work and dissertation projects and are unable to provide you with assistance unless we are given at least 4 weeks notice.
We do not take student work placements of any kind but every year we are able to work with one masters student if their research or dissertation focus is something that supports our work and dovetails with our aims as a service.  To discuss this further please email

Research Evidence

A Review of the Literature on Sex Workers and Social Exclusion
By the UCL Institute of Health Equity
Inclusion Health, Department of Health
April 2014

The sexual health of female sex workers compared with other women in England: analysis of cross-sectional data from genitourinary medicine clinics
Louise Mc Grath-Lone, Kimberly Marsh, Gwenda Hughes, Helen Ward.
September 2013

Sex work today: myths, morals & health
Professor Graham Scambler, Professor of Medical Sociology, UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health
Published Dec 2012

Sex Work & the London 2012 Olympics - How was it for you?
The Trafficking Research Project: Sept 14 2012
Georgina Perry

Q and A London Olympics: the trafficking event that wasn't
Oct 2012 Trustlaw.

Systematic review examining differences in HIV, sexually infections and health-related harms between migrant and non-migrant female sex workers. 
Sex Transm Infect Published Online First:  Oct 30 2012
L Platt,  P Grenfall, A Fletcher, A Sorhaindo, E Jolley, T Rhodes, C Bonnell.
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Striptease Research & Dancer Resource: Health& Support Services Briefing
Dr Teela Sanders & Rosie Campbell
October 2012

Fears of an influx of sex workers to major sporting events are unfounded
BMJ 2012 345:e5845 Editorial Kathleen Deering,
Kate Shannon 3 September 2012

Silence on Violence Improving the Safety of Women
The policing of off-street sex work and sex trafficking in London.
A report by Andrew Boff AM
March 2012

The Invisible Men: finding and engaging with the male partners of street sex workers
Journal of Men's Health, Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 202-207, March 2011.
Susan Collinson, Reg Straub, Georgina Perry

What's the cost of a Rumour : A guide to sorting out the myths and the facts about sporting events and trafficking
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) 2011

Independent sexual violence advisors: a successful outreach intervention in East London (Letter)
Sex Transm Infect 2012;88:1 70 Published Online First: 28 November 2011
Sarah Longwill, Jacqui Vennard, Anya Charnaud, Elizabeth Harrison, Mark Yexley,  Kim Leverett,  Georgina Perry, Vanessa Apea,  Shelly Stoops, Greta Forster

Setting up a clinical psychology service for commercial sex workers
Sex Transm Infect doi:10.1136/sti.2008.034199,
Clare Stevenson and Jenny Petrak

The feasibility of testing commercial sex workers for chlamydia and gonorrhoea on outreach
Sex Transm Infect doi:10.1136/sti.2008.034199
Sarah Macauley, Open Doors, City and Hackney PCT, London, United Kingdom, Sarah Creighton

Sexually transmitted infections among UK street-based sex workers: Work done by the London: School of Tropical medicine about Eastern European women working indoors in UK
Sex Transm Infect 2008;84:32-33 doi:10.1136/sti.2007.026443,
S Creighton, S Tariq, G Perry

Risk of sexually transmitted infections and violence among indoor-working female sex workers in London: the effect of migration from Eastern Europe
Sex Transm Infect 2011;87:377-384 doi:10.1136/sti.2011.049544
Lucy Platt, Pippa Grenfell, Chris Bonell, Sarah Creighton, Kaye Wellings, John Parry, Tim Rhodes

Eastern European women selling sex in London: social networks, agency and risk
Pippa Grenfell, Lucy Platt, Joanna Busza, Tim Rhodes, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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