Sexual and reproductive health: Spend and Outcome Tool (SPOT)

Public Health England (PHE) have produced practical guidance for Local Authorities (LAs) on how to compare spend data on sexual and reproductive health. 

 

SPOT guidelines
Image source: http://www.gov.uk

The information provides an overview of spend and outcomes across key areas of business for LAs, including:

  • the potential breadth of issues hindering comparisons between outcomes and spend
  • how to identify if the spend or outcomes data, or both, for their LA is suitable for drawing comparisons from
  • next steps for interpretation where data comparisons can be made
  • how to prevent misinterpretation

The guidelines are available here

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Sexual health services

The Royal of General Practitioners has responded to the new sexual health campaign from Public Health England by publishing Time to Act.

This report highlights that fragmented commissioning practices mean that GPs are increasingly unable to direct patients to the most appropriate sexual health services for their needs, and GPs are not being given adequate training to administer all different types of contraception that might benefit patients.

Full report available here

Launch of sexual health campaign

Public Health England has launched Protect against STIs a new sexual health campaign to encourage condom use by young adults in order to reduce the rates of sexually transmitted infections.

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The campaign is the first government sexual health campaign in eight years.  To coincide with the launch of the campaign, a new YouGov survey of 2,007 young people reveals current attitudes towards condom use and what prevents them from using protection.

The findings revealed that almost half (47%) of sexually active young people said they have had sex with someone new for the first time without using a condom; whilst 1 in 10 sexually active young people said that they had never used a condom.

The new research also revealed that sexual health is a challenging topic for young adults to discuss, as 56% of men and 43% of women said that it is difficult to talk about STIs with friends. Furthermore, 58% said that if they had an STI they would find it difficult to talk to their sexual partner about it.

Visit the campaign website for more information.

Sexual Health, Reproductive Health And HIV: A Review Of Commissioning

This report outlines the findings of a 2016 survey, carried out jointly with the Association of Directors of Public Health, which aimed to gain a clear picture of the commissioning arrangements for sexual health, reproductive health and HIV services | PHE

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The survey found that whilst there has been progress in improving services and the development of collaborative approaches there is also evidence of structural concerns which have the potential to impede effective commissioning. Key findings from the survey highlight the fragmentation of commissioning, barriers to access for those at greatest risk, increasing financial pressures and patient demand, and workforce concerns.

Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV: commissioning review

Findings and action plan from a national survey of commissioning arrangements for sexual health, reproductive health and HIV. | Public Health England

In 2016 Public Health England (PHE) and the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), supported by NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners, carried out a survey of local authorities, NHS England and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to highlight areas of challenge within the commissioning framework.

The survey findings form the basis of an action plan published within the review. Appendix 1 provides a detailed analysis of the survey responses and appendix 2 details the action plan to respond to the challenges identified.

 

Full report: Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV: commissioning review

Sexual health at risk of becoming ‘Cinderella’ service, say GPs

Sexual and reproductive health is at risk of becoming a ‘Cinderella’ service thanks to red tape, and financial and training hurdles facing GPs and their practice teams, the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) has warned.

These issues risk undoing years of improvement in the quality of sexual and reproductive healthcare being delivered to patients – including a halving of teenage pregnancy rates over the past decade and steadily increasing uptake of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), it says.

The findings of a College consultation, published in a report, Time to Act, show that GPs fear rates of teenage pregnancy and transmission of sexually transmitted diseases will rise – reversing current trends – as vulnerable patients are being excluded from accessing the most appropriate forms of contraception, and widening  health inequalities as a result.

Full report: Sexual and Reproductive Health: Time to Act

Story via OnMedica

Deaths linked to Aids have halved in a decade

A report by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) showed deaths had fallen from a peak of 1.9 million in 2005 to 1 million last year | BBC News

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Image source: UNAIDS

The condition, which is caused by HIV, used to be one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. It said the “scales have tipped”, with more than half of people getting drug treatment for the first time. An HIV infection cannot be cured – it can only be contained with daily doses of antiretroviral therapy.

Unchecked, it destroys the immune system, causing Aids. At this point people tend to die from other “opportunistic infections” such as tuberculosis. Worldwide, 36.7 million are living with HIV and 53% of them are getting the therapy that gives a near-normal life expectancy.