Sexual health crisis to continue as DoH 'ignores strategy'

Charities have found the Department of Health is failing to heed its own national Sexual Health and HIV Strategy when planning health service delivery at local level.

A recent survey of local delivery plans of Strategic Health Authorities, conducted by FPA, Terrence Higgins Trust and Brook, found that none mentioned contraception or abortion services, or made commitments to improving sexual health services.

The FPA said the lack of political will to implement the strategy was "totally unacceptable".

Sexually transmitted infections will continue to spread for at least the next three years according to the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV, which has been established to advise on implementation of the strategy.

It said the three-year planning and priorities framework for health service managers virtually ignored the strategy, with the result that the current sexual health crisis would persist until at least 2006.

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