FSRH press release: New models of care could be missing opportunity to improve access to sexual and reproductive healthcare

Posted 29 November 2019

Date: 29 Nov 2019

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

An audit conducted by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) of emerging new models of care has found that only a quarter of these new models mentions contraceptive services and/or community gynaecology in their plans.

  • The audit reveals big untapped potential to include sexual and reproductive healthcare in Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in England.
  • The audit results were unveiled in a new report by FSRH, featuring four best practice examples of areas promoting innovation on design and delivery of sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

More than 50 strategies and operational plans were reviewed for the audit, with results showing that few areas have explicitly recognised the opportunity to embed sexual and reproductive healthcare services in their plans. Other areas of sexual and reproductive health such as psychosexual services and menopause were not present in the majority of plans.

Dr Jane Dickson, Vice President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:

“It is now widely recognised that the hospital-based model of care is outdated. Bringing care closer to the community is a good solution to tackle increasing demand for NHS services in a resource-constrained environment.

“The FSRH audit shows that there is an enormous opportunity for healthcare leaders working on new models of care to improve the health of the local population by embedding sexual and reproductive healthcare services in their plans.

“New models have been developing at a rapid pace, and the results indicate that more could be done to improve access to contraceptive and other sexual and reproductive healthcare services.

“Sexual and reproductive healthcare services are an ideal fit for areas building new models of care. These services have been trailblazers for several years, introducing many of the changes that new models of care are now championing such as multidisciplinary working, patient-centred care, improving health at the population level and access to care in the community.

“As local and national leaders begin to think about implementing the vision set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan, such as more joined-up and coordinated care and more proactive population health management, they should also consider the opportunities to embed sexual and reproductive healthcare services into new models of care.”


For further information please contact Camila Azevedo, FSRH External Affairs & Standards Manager, at externalaffairsmanager@fsrh.org or 02037945309.

Notes to Editors

  • The new report, “Opportunities to embed sexual and reproductive health care services into new models of care. A practical guide for commissioners and service providers” can be found here.
  • An accompanying briefing with the audit findings can be downloaded here.
  • The audit took place between June and August 2018 and focused on new models of care that had emerged as a result of NHS England’s Five Year Forward View. These included: Vanguards, including Multispeciality Community Providers (MCPs) and Integrated Primary and Acute Care Systems (PACSs); Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs); Integrated Care Systems (ICSs); Primary Care Homes (PCHs) and other large-scale general practice organisations; and digital providers of sexual and reproductive health services.
  • Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with ten experts involved in the design and delivery of sexual and reproductive health services. The report presents a set of recommendations for commissioners and providers.
  • The shift towards integrated models of care has been taking place in the NHS for the best part of a decade. The concept was first introduced in 2008’s High Quality Care for All report. 2014’s NHS Five Year Forward View committed to test different models, while the NHS Long Term Plan and Implementation Framework set out the blueprint for them to be rolled out nationally. By 2021, it is expected that Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will cover the whole country. Meanwhile, Primary Care Networks (PCNs), based on neighbouring GP practices working together, are already being developed to serve populations of 30 to 50,000.
  • 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.