FSRH and RCOG respond to the Cross-Party Group on SRH Inquiry into Access to Contraception
Date: 24 Jun 2020
Type: FSRH Consultation Responses
The Inquiry was first opened in early 2019 by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health (APPG SRH), in response to concerns regarding fragmented commissioning of contraceptive services, a lack of system accountability and cuts to the public health budget. The current Inquiry is related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on access to contraception in recent months.
In our joint response with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), we propose that access to contraception in England has been challenged in recent years by funding cuts to public health services, and the fragmented commissioning of SRH services. The outbreak of COVID-19 has compounded these issues, and caused further disruption to contraceptive services. We believe that the post-pandemic landscape offers significant opportunities to tackle these challenges. However, to enable positive change to last, we will need to go further than restoration.
We propose the following recommendations:
- Include a Long Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) indicator within the Primary Care Quality Outcomes Framework (QOF).
- Reclassify the progestogen-only pill (POP) from ‘prescription-only’ to ‘pharmacy product’
- Ensure that all individuals have access to free emergency contraception at time and place of need
- Increase investment into current public health and SRH services
- Develop a national digital service platform for SRH in England
- Develop integrated holistic commissioning of SRH
- More broadly integrate SRH into women’s healthcare pathways in the NHS
- Ensure the availability of all modalities of consultation, including remote and face to face consultations
- Enhance the local authority mandate in relation to contraceptive services to adhere to FSRH Standards.