The Government has concluded a review of commissioning arrangements for certain public health functions, including sexual and reproductive health, that was announced in the NHS Long Term Plan. Many sexual and reproductive health clinic services are currently commissioned by local authorities through the Public Health Grant and Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, confirmed yesterday that this would remain the case.
Deborah Gold, Chief Executive of NAT (National AIDS Trust) said, “We welcome the review recommendation for improved joint working between the NHS and local government to deliver sexual and reproductive health services. This now needs to be backed up by genuine action, including by the Government dealing with the chronic underfunding of public health services, and properly incorporating public health into policy and decision making on the health and social care system. Public Health must be at the centre of the Prevention Green Paper, not a footnote.
The Government must take heed of the recommendations for a national strategy for sexual health, supported by the Health and Social Care Select Committee in their report published this weekend. Such a strategy needs to be properly funded and to set out responsibilities for stakeholders across the system, including the NHS, so that all have a stake in delivering better sexual and reproductive health services.”