NHS England (NHSE) has launched a consultation following the recent Government announcement of additional funding for the NHS. In our response, FSRH has called for the establishment of a women’s health strand to the long-term plan, pointing out that there is substantial evidence to suggest that women’s access to healthcare is being skewed by fragmentation of commissioning and perverse financial incentives.
FSRH have called for the establishment of a women’s health strand to the long-term plan, pointing out that there is substantial evidence to suggest that women’s access to healthcare is being skewed by fragmentation of commissioning and perverse financial incentives. In addition, FSRH has also submitted substantial evidence tailored specifically to the workstreams of NHS England.
Some of the key points we made included:
- The urgent need to restore cervical screening in both sexual health and contraceptive services. We cited cervical screening rates as a key example of system fracture.
- Half of councils in England have cut contraceptive services since 2015, and cuts are creating a situation in which innovation and service improvement are difficult.
- FSRH publicised a case study of the Greenwich integrated, community-based model for sexual and reproductive healthcare services, driven by SRH consultant leadership. We demonstrated how such a model allowed for significant savings as well as increased patient satisfaction and reduced appointments.
- FSRH stressed the overarching need to address workforce challenges urgently, point out the critical medical vacancy gaps in SRH and the absence of investment in training, including training in long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs), the most effective methods of contraception.
We have also combined efforts with the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (AoMRC) and Advisory Group on Contraception (AGC), sharing well evidenced pieces of work to help inform joint action on the plan. FSRH have made clear the benefits that come with preventative care, with our recommendations allowing the NHS to make direct cost savings.