“Sexual Health In The UK
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“Sexual Health In The UK Protecting Our Future” Barry Sheerman MP Chairman of the Education And Skills Select Committee House of Commons - Thursday 3 rd March 2005. “Sexual Health In The UK Protecting Our Future” Dr Alison Bigrigg President FFPRHC.

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“Sexual Health In The UK

Protecting Our Future”

Barry Sheerman MP

Chairman of the Education

And Skills Select Committee

House of Commons - Thursday 3rd March 2005


“Sexual Health In The UK

Protecting Our Future”

Dr Alison Bigrigg

President FFPRHC


Faculty of Family Planning & Reproductive Health Care (FFPRHC)

11,000 medical members:

  • All the consultants in family planning and reproductive health

  • About 8,000 GPs

  • Specialists in obstetrics & gynaecology, GUM and Public Health

  • Associate nursing members

    Within our specialist field the Faculty:

  • Sets standards

  • Provides training an education programmes

  • Promotes research and evidence based practise

  • Represents the interests of our members

    Core Principles:

  • Informed choice

  • Personalisation

  • Working together


Current situation of the UK (FFPRHC)

White Paper - Funding:

  • No funding was announced with The White Paper

  • But the Department of Health has secured £300 million for sexual health

    • Will this be used solely to cut waiting times in acute services?

    • What about investment in community services keen to follow principles of The White Paper?


FFPRHC (FFPRHC)

Survey Report 2005

(Conducted by TNS)

In November 2004 a Survey was conducted amongst 2750 clinicians:

  • GPs

  • Nurses

  • Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

  • Consultants in Family Planning and Reproductive Health

The aim was to assess current investment, practice and service levels across the country in the area of family planning and reproductive health care


The survey looked at key areas: (FFPRHC)

  • Investment in family planning services by PCTs

  • Access to contraception

  • Abortion

  • Quality of contraception services


Investment in Family Planning Services by PCTs (FFPRHC)

84%of GPs reported NO additional resources or a reduction in level of resource in last year

DESPITE

+ increased demand

+ increased costs

+ National Sexual Health Strategy

BUT

Nearly 90%of all those questioned believed greater investment in community contraceptive & sexual health services is required to improve the UK’s reproductive health statistics

84%

Say NO


Investment in Family Planning Services (FFPRHC)

  • Less than 5% of PCTs have seen strong investment in this area in the past year

  • Of those who reported a decrease in funding nearly 50% said this had led to fewer clinic sites or numbers

  • 34% said there are longer waits for appointments

  • 20% said they have turned clients away from open access clinics due to overwhelming demand


Access to Contraception (FFPRHC)

Nearly all respondents supported the principle that people should have a choice as to where to go for sexual and reproductive health care:

  • 97% GPs

  • 100% Nurses

  • 94% Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

  • 98% Consultants in Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care

Over 90%believe PCTs should offer open access or walk-in clinics



Availability of Contraception (FFPRHC)

In theory, contraception has been free

at point of delivery in UK for over 30 years:

  • Up to 30% of PCTs now restrict access to some forms of contraception

  • Methods most commonly restricted are new methods and long acting reversible methods

e.g. 1/3 of GPs and 2/3 hospital specialists reported restricted access to contraceptive implants


Urban teens using implant pills or condoms darney et al am j o g 1999
Urban teens using Implant, pills or condoms (FFPRHC)(Darney et al Am J O & G 1999)


Urban teens using implant pills or condoms darney et al am j o g 19991
Urban teens using Implant, pills or condoms (FFPRHC)(Darney et al Am J O & G 1999)


Availability of contraception (FFPRHC)

  • 80% agree with the distribution of condoms to young people as part of the strategy to combat the UK’s high sexually transmitted infection rate

    BUT

  • 30% of GPs admit condom provision is restricted


Restricted access to end availability of contraceptive methods

  • Restrictions have major consequences for individuals and society

  • All forms of contraception are extremely cost effective health interventions

Why are they being rationed?


Abortion services methods

  • 76% of GPs say there is variation in access to abortion services depending on where you live

  • 30% said it was common for a woman to travel outside the area because of inadequate local provision

  • More than 99% of clinicians believe that a choice between medical and surgical abortion is important for women

  • The majority of doctors believe:

    • Community clinics should play a greater role in provision of abortion services

    • Nurses should be allowed a greater role in providing TOP services


Abortion services methods

Our survey shows:

  • Current services are sub-optimal and in some areas of the country not ‘fit for purpose’

  • New ways of working would improve services throughout the UK


Quality of contraception services methods

45% of nurses and 40% of GPs thought that there was inadequate availability of training locally

Recommended consultation time for a new patient is 20 minutes – only half of nurses and less than a quarter of GPs surveyed can currently offer this

40%

45%


Our survey provides evidence of lack of investment in contraceptive and abortion services leading to:

  • Loss of clinic sites and numbers

  • Longer waiting times for appointments

  • Clients being turned away from walk-in services

  • Restricted access to effective contraceptive methods

  • Post code lottery in abortion services


The survey also shows clinicians want the Department of Health to have a stronger involvement in ensuring our

‘Cinderella Specialty’

is treated fairly for the sake of all women and men who use it


Summary Health to have a stronger involvement in ensuring our

Why has this happened?

  • Over the past three generations women’s lives have been transformed by contraception

  • Women now vital to the economy

  • Women no longer have to campaign - have access to all forms of contraception and abortion services

    BUT

Are we taking for granted the services that make it all possible?


The Faculty … Health to have a stronger involvement in ensuring our

  • Fully supports The White Paper and the Department of Health plans to do its own survey of PCT Chief Executives

  • Is keen to work with the Department of Health to ensure investment goes into community and primary care services

  • Recognises that clinical services alone will not solve the rising number of STIs or teenage pregnancies, but they are a vital component


“Sexual Health In The UK Health to have a stronger involvement in ensuring our

Protecting Our Future”