Information for Commissioners and Policymakers

Providing independent clinical advice for tenders

FSRH has a number of very experienced sexual and reproductive healthcare clinicians who are willing to act as ‘advisors’ to commissioners or managers wanting to review or tender their SRH service. These clinicians are based all over the UK and can travel to areas that they do not work to ensure no conflict of interest.

For more information please contact Harry Walker at

Achieving Clinical Excellence

To ensure clinical excellence and the highest standards of care, commissioners of SRH services must ensure that both the doctors and nurses in their workforce are appropriately trained and follow the most up to date clinical standards and guidance – FSRH has the tools to help you achieve this.

We produce regularly updated clinical standards and evidence-based guidance to help those who work in sexual and reproductive healthcare achieve the highest possible standards of care. For more information visit our sections on standards and guidance.

Likewise, we believe that successful service delivery hinges on a well-trained, confident workforce. FSRH offers SRH qualifications and training packages for both doctors and nurses and we are proud to be one of only a few medical bodies to welcome nurses into our membership. Find out more by visiting our Careers and Training pages.

Key policy documents for Commissioners

The following documents are some of the key Government, local government and wider sexual and reproductive health sector policy and best practice, which should be used to help inform commissioning decisions in each of the four UK nations.



NB Many of the best practice recommendations made in these documents can be applied across all four of the UK nations.

Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (2015)

Better care, a better future: a new vision for sexual and reproductive healthcare in the UK

FSRH’s Vision sets out the fundamental principles that should underpin SRH provision for all to ensure that service users can access high quality SRH as standard

Public Health England (2015)
Making it Work: A guide to whole system commissioning for sexual, reproductive health and HIV

A guide to sexual and reproductive health and HIV commissioning, focussing on how to foster a whole system approach

Public Health England (2013)
Commissioning regional and local HIV sexual and reproductive health services

Outlines responsibilities for commissioning SRH services and how to develop service specifications and contracts

Department of Health (2013)
A Framework for Sexual Health Improvement in England

This document aims to provide the information, evidence base and support tools to enable those involved in sexual health improvement to work together effectively.

Public Health England (2016)

A framework for supporting teenage mothers and young fathers

Public Health England outlines models of best practice for multiagency support for young parents across different care settings. See FSRH’s quick reference guide for applying the framework here

Public Health England (2014/15)

Sexual and Reproductive Health Profiles: Fingertips data

The Sexual and Reproductive Health Profiles have been developed by Public Health England (PHE) to support local authorities, public health leads and other interested parties in monitoring local and national trends in sexual and reproductive health, enabling them to compare local figures against the national average and neighbouring local authorities.

Bayer (2016)

“Impact of unplanned pregnancies on local authority budgets calculator”

Bayer have developed a modelling calculator to help local authorities better understand healthcare and wider public sector costs of unplanned live births. With public health and local authority budgets under significant pressure, the calculator uses a robust and very conservative methodology to demonstrate that investing in contraception is highly cost-effective, even when NHS spending is excluded.

Local Government Association (2013)
“Sexual Health Commissioning FAQs” 

A guide to sexual health commissioning 

Below you will find NICE best-practice guidance and standards relating to different aspects of SRH care. All of these guidelines and standards are accompanied by tools and resources to support commissioning and help put this guidance into practice:


Other useful documents

Local Government Association and Public Health England (2015)
Good progress but more to do: Teenage pregnancy and young parents

The LGA’s document provides case studies of best practice and innovative whole system approaches to reducing teenage pregnancy across England

Public Health England (2016)
Health child programme 0-19: health visitor and school nurse commissioning

PHE’s guide to assist Local Authorities in the commissioning of health visiting and school nursing services for children aged 0-19

Public Health England (2015)
Action Plan 2015-16: Promoting the health and wellbeing of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men

Public Health England’s evidence and action plan to address the health and wellbeing inequalities affecting gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men 

National Child and Maternal Health Intelligence Network (2016)

Teenage parent outcomes modelling tool

This tool gives Local Authorities the opportunity to model the potential impact of services that aim to improve outcomes for teenage parents and their children, bringing together data on conception rates and factors that influence outcomes for teenage parents and their children.

Local Government Association (2016)

The community pharmacy offer for improving the public’s health

This briefing for councillors, senior council officers and commissioners outlines community pharmacy’s increasing role in public health and how several SRH services could be commissioned from community pharmacy.


Policy Makers

In this section FSRH provides useful documents and evidence for policy makers to help guide their decision making process surrounding SRH policy.

FPA (2015)

Unprotected Nation

In FPA’s updated Unprotected Nation 2015 the financial and economic impacts of restricted contraceptive and sexual health services are explored.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health in the UK (2015)
Breaking down the barriers: The need for accountability and integration in sexual health, reproductive health and HIV services in England

A comprehensive report raising the need for national accountability in SRH, improved integration between services, a national standard contract which sets out minimum standards for service providers, continued professional development for the SRH work force, a clear outline to Local Authorities about what services they must commission to ensure ‘open access SRH services’ and the need for Local Authorities to be held to account for their spending of the public health budget.

Terrence Higgins Trust (2016)

SRE…shh no talking: LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships education in the UK
THT use this report to highlight the lack of high quality sex and relationship education across the UK and emphasise the importance of LGBT-Inclusive SRE from a young age. THT make several UK-wide recommendations, including making SRE a universal, comprehensive statutory part of the curriculum in all schools, as well as individual recommendations for each of the UK’s devolved nations.

Guidance on SRE delivery

Department for Education (2000)
Sex and relationship education guidance

This Government document aims to guide schools and teachers on some of the sensitive issues they may have to deal with when teaching sex and relationship education. It also outlines some practical strategies for teaching and addresses some of the issues for schools concerning confidentiality.


PSHE Association, Brook and Sex Education Forum (2014)

Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) for the 21st Century

This advice compliments guidance the PSHE Association have previously produced for schools with information that addresses 21st century challenges such as the impact of sex and pornography in the media.



Welsh Assembly Government (2010)
Sexual Health and Wellbeing Action Plan for Wales 2010-2015 Update expected in 2016

This document highlights the importance of prevention, education, individual responsibility, and access to healthcare services in relation to sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also aims to promote a culture where sexual health and sex and relationships are spoken about comfortably and openly in Wales.

Welsh Assembly Government (2013)
Safeguarding Children and Young People from Sexual Exploitation

This guidance is designed to assist practitioners in preventing child sexual exploitation (CSE), protecting children and young people who are at risk of abuse or are abused through sexual exploitation and prosecuting those who perpetrate this form of abuse

Welsh Assembly Government (2005)
National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services

This document sets out the quality of services children, young people and their families have the right to expect and receive in Wales.


The Scottish Government (2015)
Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Framework 2015-2020 Update

This Framework seeks to strengthen and improve the way in which the NHS in Scotland, the Third Sector and Local Authorities support and work with individuals at risk of poor sexual health and blood borne viruses.

The Scottish Government (2016)
Pregnancy and Parenthood in Young People Strategy

The Strategy emphasises the fact that supporting young people in this area cannot be achieved by health interventions alone and promotes tackling deprivation, inequality and lack of aspiration and opportunity head on.

Northern Ireland

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (2008)
Progress and Priorities: Addendum to the sexual health promotion strategy and action plan (2008-2013) to December 2015 Update expected in 2016

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (2016)
Guidance for Health and Social Care Professionals on Termination of Pregnancy in Northern Ireland

A clarification of the laws regarding abortion in Northern Ireland to enable clinicians to undertake their medical duties with confidence