Contraceptives

Department of Health written question – answered at on 23 October 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Gould of Potternewton Baroness Gould of Potternewton Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of concerns raised by Public Health England in their report Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV, published in August, what assessment they have made of the impact of fragmented commissioning on the delivery of (1) all methods of contraception, and (2) very long-acting reversible contraceptives.

Photo of Baroness Gould of Potternewton Baroness Gould of Potternewton Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of concerns raised by Public Health England in their report, Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV, published in August, what steps they are taking to ensure full and open access, regardless of user age or place of residence, to (1) all methods of contraception, and (2) very long-acting reversible contraceptives.

Photo of Baroness Gould of Potternewton Baroness Gould of Potternewton Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of concerns raised by Public Health England in their report, Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV, published in August, what steps they are taking to develop clear national guidance on cross-charging between local authorities for contraceptive services.

Photo of Baroness Gould of Potternewton Baroness Gould of Potternewton Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of concerns raised by Public Health England in their report, Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV, published in August, what steps they are taking to reduce vacancy levels of staff trained to fit very long-acting reversible contraceptives in (1) general practice, and (2) community sexual and reproductive health services.

Photo of Lord O'Shaughnessy Lord O'Shaughnessy The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

NHS Digital publishes annual data on activity in sexual and reproductive health services in England. The most recent data shows that:

- during 2016/17, 871,000 women contacted sexual and reproductive health services on one or more occasions for reasons of contraception. This number had been rising up until 2014/15, but has since fallen for two consecutive years;

- the percentage of women using long-acting reversible contraceptives has remained stable in recent years, increasing from 37% in 2014/15 to 39% in 2016/17.

In 2017/18, Public Health England (PHE) will produce a State of the Nation Report for Reproductive Health, which will highlight delivery of contraception, including long-acting reversible contraception, in England using currently routinely collected data as well as large nationally-representative surveys.

Ensuring people have access to the full range of contraception and can obtain their chosen method quickly and easily is a key principle of effective contraception services.

PHE published an action plan in August 2017 to address concerns identified in their report Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV: A Review of Commissioning, which includes issues affecting the provision of contraception. As part of the action plan, PHE will take forward a range of activities aimed at strengthening commissioning, including providing evidence and data to commissioners to support commissioning and the monitoring of outcomes and building capacity and capability in sexual and reproductive health commissioning.

The full action plan is attached.

Sexual health action plan (PDF Document, 1.11 MB)

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