Advisory Group on Contraception launches new report on contraceptive services

Posted 12 December 2016

Date: 12 Dec 2016

Type: FSRH News and Information

Author: FSRH Policy Team

Today sees the Advisory Group on Contraception (AGC) of which FSRH is a member, launch its new report Private lives, public health: the changing shape of contraceptive services in England post-2013.

The AGC’s new research shows that local authority commissioned contraception services are having to cut services and introduce restrictions in many parts of England following Government cuts to the public health budget.

The report echoes and adds weight to FSRH’s concern that public health cuts are restricting the provision of, and open access to, contraception. The report outlines a number of worrying findings, including:

  • cuts to budgets for contraceptive services
  • reductions in the number of community clinics providing women with contraception, including intra-uterine systems (IUS), intra-uterine devices (IUD) or contraceptive implants 
  • fewer GP practices contracted to provide access to longer acting methods 
  • inconsistencies in access

The AGC’s findings are based on a Freedom of Information request to all 152 councils with commissioning responsibility for contraception and shows that approximately 3.9 million women – or around a third of women of reproductive age in England – live in an area where contraceptive services are restricted based on a women’s age or place of residence.

Dr Anne Connolly, Vice-President Membership FSRH and GP in Bradford said:

“Both GPs and community services play a crucial role in ensuring women get the right contraception for them. So it’s hugely concerning to see that in many parts of the country contraceptive services are being cut, meaning that women can’t access the most reliable types of contraception. Without close scrutiny, I’m worried this trend will only continue – and women will bear the consequences.”

Watch FSRH Vice President, Dr Anne Connolly, and Nurse Specialist in Contraception, Shelley Raine, discuss the report on the Victoria Derbyshire Show. 

Read the report in full below.