The September 2018 issue of the Sexual Health, Reproductive Health & HIV Policy e-Bulletin is out today

Posted 26 September 2018

Date: 26 Sep 2018

Type: Sexual and Reproductive Health News

The September issue covers the announcement, by the Department of Health and Social Care, to allow women to take misoprostol at home in England; a new Freedom of Information audit by the Advisory Group on Contraception (AGC) revealing that almost half of councils in England have cut contraceptive services since 2015 as well as the new inquiry into Sexual Health by the Health and Social Care Committee. This month’s eFeature brings two testimonials by young people about how they experienced sex education in schools.

Last week the AGC reported findings from its 2018 Freedom of Information (FOI) audit to all 152 Local Authorities in England, showing almost half of all councils have reduced or closed sites delivering contraceptive services since 2015. At the beginning of the month the Local Government Association (LGA) also reiterated that some council’s sexual health services are ‘stretched to the limit… with a real risk of increased waiting times and deteriorating patient experience’.

Key organisations, including FSRH and the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) have pointed to evidence that investing in contraceptive services delivers a return on investment and warned that cuts to the public health budget must be reversed to enable council's to continue to protect and improve the public's sexual and reproductive health.

Parliamentary select committees have also been busy over the past two months with announcements that the Health and Social Care Select Committee will be conducting a new inquiry into sexual health and the Women and Equalities Select Committee will be undertaking inquiries into abortion law in Northern Ireland and into the health and social care needs of LGBT communities.

In this month’s eFeature, two young people, Toby and Elise, give us their take on the new draft Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) guidance by the Department of Education (DfE) to support the introduction of compulsory Relationships Education in primary schools and RSE in secondary schools. Toby and Elise give accounts of their own experience of sex education as well as their views on important elements of the draft guidance. Both are hopeful that the changes will mean young people across the country will be better supported to enjoy safe, healthy and happy relationships.

Other items to look out for in this month’s issue include:  a new contraceptive services Return on Investment (ROI) tool from Public Health England (PHE) providing evidence that every £1 spent on contraceptive services saves £9 across the public sector; publication of 2017 HIV data confirming that new HIV diagnoses in the UK are at the lowest point since 2000, having fallen for a second year in a row and new materials on consent from the FPA for Sexual Health Week 2018.

Read the September issue and e-Feature. If you would like to receive the next issues directly in your e-mail inbox, please subscribe.

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