COMMONS

Sexual health inquiry launched by Health and Social Care Committee

01 August 2018

The Health and Social Care Committee launches inquiry into sexual health.

The inquiry

Diagnoses of a number of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are increasing. Recent figures show that syphilis increased by 20% between 2016-17, and gonorrhoea increased by 22% over the same period. Extensively drug resistant strains of gonorrhoea have also emerged.

Over the same time period there has been a reduction of 8% in the number of chlamydia tests carried out, continuing the trend of the previous year. Service providers argue that increases in STI diagnoses, against a backdrop of significant financial pressures, have left sexual health services at 'tipping point'.

Terms of Reference

The Committee seeks evidence on sexual health, including: 

  • Recent trends
  • Prevention
  • The commissioning and delivery of sexual health services, including contraception services. This includes:
    • Demand
    • Access
    • Funding
    • Standards
    • Co-commissioned services, e.g. HIV, PrEP, cervical screening, vaccinations, drugs and alcohol (chemsex)
    • Decommissioning of non-core services
    • Governance
  • Workforce issues
  • Action at national and local level to improve sexual health and sexual health services – the role of Government, NHS England, Public Health England and local authorities

The impact of STIs remains greatest in young heterosexuals 15 to 24 years; black ethnic minorities; and gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM), so the inquiry would particularly welcome evidence on the issues facing these specific groups of the population. We would also welcome submissions on sexual health services for over-50s.

Submissions should not exceed 3000 words, and should reach the Committee by the end of the day on Monday 1st October 2018

Further information

Image: Pixabay/Creative Commons Licence (CC0)

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