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FSRH and RCOG statement on the Government’s response to the Health and Social Care Committee report on Sexual Health
Posted 29 October 2019
Date: 29 Oct 2019
Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) welcome the Government’s reiterated commitment to developing a national Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy to ensure that services are more holistic and can deliver joined-up care for patients.
We look forward to collaborating with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and partners and believe that Public Health England's (PHE) Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV External Advisory Group is the appropriate forum to oversee the development of the strategy. The upcoming Reproductive Health Action Plan by PHE should inform the proposed Strategy.
In line with the aims of Prevention Green Paper, the FSRH and RCOG propose three priority areas for a national Sexual and Reproductive Health strategy:
- Improving access to contraceptive services and women’s reproductive health care
- Accountability in co-commissioning of Sexual and Reproductive Health services
- Sustainable, long-term funding for public health services
We are pleased that a focus of the new strategy will be to enhance access to the full range of contraceptive methods. We strongly recommend the Strategy to include a specific aim to improve access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC), the most effective methods of contraception, in community and primary care settings, with training for healthcare professionals.
We fully support the Government’s call for collaborative commissioning to become the norm requiring local authorities and the NHS to work closely together at both national and local level. However, relying on voluntary initiatives for collaborative commissioning of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare services alone will not suffice, and reiterate our previous call for enhanced accountability across the system.
Further, we believe that sustained cuts to the public health budget will prove a major challenge to the delivery of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. The real-terms increase to the public health grant announced in the Spending Round is welcome, but it is far from being sufficient to fill the funding gap. We call on the Government to commit to drastically uplift the public health grant and prioritise it as a cost-effective, fundamental healthcare spend that includes responsibility for clinical services and should be ring-fenced.
Finally, it is encouraging to see the commitment to improve cervical screening commissioning arrangements so that this life-saving test can be delivered in Sexual and Reproductive Health services, which will help to increase the currently record-low uptake rates.
The Government response to the Health and Social Care Committee report on Sexual Health can be found here
For further information and press queries please contact Camila Azevedo, FSRH External Affairs & Standards Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org / 02037945309 or Zoë Moulton, RCOG Policy Manager, at email@example.com / 020 7045 6775.
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) is the largest UK professional membership organisation working at the heart of sexual and reproductive health (SRH), supporting healthcare professionals to deliver high quality care. It works with its 15,000 members, to shape sexual reproductive health for all. It produces evidence-based clinical guidance, standards, training, qualifications and research into SRH. It also delivers conferences and publishes the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health in partnership with the BMJ.