Health written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Natascha Engel Natascha Engel Labour, North East Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the costs and benefits of providing free condoms in GP surgeries.

Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Minister of State (Department of Health) (Public Health)

No formal assessment of the costs and benefits of providing free condoms in general practice has been undertaken but it is a key aim of the Government to improve sexual health by reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and spread of sexually transmitted infections. The national health service already issues around 38 million free condoms each year. While general practitioners are unable to issue condoms on prescription, many GP surgeries already issue free condoms as part of locally agreed condom distribution schemes with primary care trusts. We welcome these partnerships. As well as providing access to condoms through general practice, we must ensure that they are easily accessible at appropriate places and venues to those at highest risk.

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