We have responded to the Special Inquiry Committee’s call for evidence on the integration of primary and community care.
In our response, we focused on the need for primary care to enable women to have improved access holistic sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH). This means integrating care around the needs of the individual, not institutional silos – with people able to access the care they need, in one place, when they need it.
- Fragmented commissioning of SRH makes the system difficult for patients to navigate, resulting in reduced access to SRH services (including contraception) for many women.
- Funding cuts to Local Authority SRH and contraceptive care provision is resulting in increased referrals to primary care, increasing GP workloads, waiting times and pressure on GP services. Furthermore, the under prioritisation of SRH in primary care reduces the quality of contraceptive care available in GP settings.
- The establishment of Integrated Care Systems (ICS’s) provide a key opportunity for greater integration and collaboration within the healthcare system. We call for effective integration of women’s health services commissioned by CCGs/ICSs across system level (ICS) and national level (NHSE), addressing gaps in the reproductive care pathway.
- We support the establishment of Women’s Health Hubs, an integrated, holistic ‘one-stop shop’ for women to receive the care they need. Hub models would ensure women are seen ‘in the right setting, by the right professional, at the right time’ through better integration of women’s health services across primary, secondary, and sexual and reproductive health. Success of such models can be seen from case studies in Liverpool and the London Borough of Greenwich.
- We called for the introduction of the FSRH Hatfield Vision to the primary care model, a blueprint outlining what needs to be achieved to improve health of 51% of the UK’s population.
You can read our response in full here.
More information on the Consultation is available here.