FSRH consultation response: FSRH highlights three key priorities for national Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy

Posted 16 October 2019

Date: 16 Oct 2019

Type: FSRH Consultation Responses

We respond to the consultation on the Prevention Green Paper by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Cabinet Office.

In our response, we listed three priorities for a national Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy proposed by DHSC: 

1) Accountability in co-commissioning of SRH services. We fully support the Government’s call for collaborative commissioning in SRH to “become the norm” requiring local authorities and the NHS to work closely together at both national and local level. However, we stressed that relying on voluntary initiatives for collaborative commissioning of SRH services alone will not suffice and called for clear lines of accountability across the system including the appointment of a National Clinical Director for women’s reproductive health.

2) Improving access to tackle the unmet healthcare need for contraceptive services and women’s reproductive health care. We argued that women’s reproductive health must be at the core of the proposed Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. This is because women’s access to contraceptive care in England – and reproductive healthcare more broadly – has decreased exponentially due to a combination of factors including cuts to Public Health funding, a fragmented commissioning landscape and a lack of strategic prioritisation of women’s reproductive health across the healthcare system.

3) Sustainable, long-term funding for public health services. Public health budgets have witnessed substantial cuts since 2015. We argued that sustained cuts to the Public Health budget will prove a major challenge to the delivery of the proposed Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy. We called on the Government to commit to drastically uplift the Public Health grant and for it to be prioritised as a cost-effective, fundamental healthcare spend that includes responsibility for clinical services.

Read our full response here or from the link below.