FSRH, RCGP and RCOG call for urgent investment in SRH services in letter to Under SoS for Public Health and Primary Care
Date: 03 May 2018
Type: FSRH News and Information
In a letter signed by Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), FSRH joins RCGP and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in asking Under Secretary of State (SoS) for Public Health and Primary Care Steve Brine to consider long-term solutions to the crisis in the provision of SRH in primary care and call for urgent investment in SRH services.
The letter, which you can read in full below, outlines the continuing problems with the provision of SRH services in England, drawing attention to RCGP’s 2017 report Time to Act, endorsed by FSRH. The report highlights the complex and fragmented way that SRH services are commissioned in England as well as the decreasing services available in the community as a result. The findings revealed that vulnerable patients are being excluded from accessing the full range of contraceptive methods, and that health inequalities are being widened.
Another pressing issue stressed in the letter to Under SoS Steve Brine is that GPs, nurses and clinicians in primary care cannot access funding for training to provide the quality services that patients need, of which a prime example is the reduction in funding and training for the provision of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs). RCGP, RCOG and FSRH call for urgent investment in SRH services.
Read the letter in full:
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard MBBS, PhD FRCGP
Chair of Council
Steve Brine MP
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
Department of Health
39 Victoria St London SW1H 0EU
1st May 2018
1st May 2018
I am writing to you on behalf of the Royal College of General Practitioners and with the support of my colleagues at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare. I want to express concern about the continuing problems with the provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare services in England.
As you will be aware, the RCGP released its Time to Act report in August 2017, which found that vulnerable patients are prevented from accessing the sexual and reproductive healthcare that they need. This is exacerbating healthcare inequalities in England and costing the NHS more money in the long term.
The issues outlined in our report are still pressing. Funding has been cut in many areas and the commissioning of sexual and reproductive healthcare in England is complicated and fragmented. Services across the country are provided inconsistently and provision of care in one area can be vastly different to another. This has led to disrupted, disconnected and ultimately disappointing experiences for patients.
GPs want to provide person centred care; however, the lack of planning and clear pathways in sexual and reproductive healthcare means the patient journey is disjointed. Frequently, related services do not refer between or communicate with one another. In some areas, for example, family planning services do not link up with contraceptive advice services.
It also continues to be the case that GPs, nurses and clinicians in primary care cannot access funding for training to provide the quality services that patients need. A prime example of this is the reduction in funding and training for the provision by GPs of long acting reversible contraceptives. The College is continuing to call for urgent investment in sexual and reproductive health services.
I would be grateful to meet with you to discuss pragmatic swift improvements as well as longer term solutions to this crisis.
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard
Chair of RCGP council