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Friday, February 16, 2007

Cash crisis hits sexual health STD clinics

Sexual health clinics are struggling to hit labour government targets due to a lack of funding. Despite sexual health being one of the Government's top NHS priorities, plans are not always implemented on the ground, a new report claims.

And it said clinics could sometimes only meet targets by changing the way they booked appointments. The report's stark warning echoes one issued last year by the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV (IAG).

That group said a substantial proportion of the £300m set aside for sexual health was being diverted by primary care trusts (PCTs) to pay off debts.

The new survey of sexual health chiefs reinforced the view that cash allocated in the 2004 Choosing Health White Paper was being held back by PCTs or Strategic Health Authorities.

Overall, 59% of respondents said either all or part of the Choosing Health money had been diverted away from sexual health services. The report said: "The diversion of this money will affect delivery of services in key areas of sexual health.

"We ask the Government to take urgent action to ringfence future sexual health funding and enable PCTs to spend allocated money on the services for which it was intended."

Dr Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents 90% of PCTs, said: "Sexual health services are one of many important priorities for primary care trusts."

From:
http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-1251689,00.html

On Fri 4 Aug 2006 Health Direct posted: Sexual health (STI) funds are being used to cut trust debts when millions of pounds intended for improving sexual health services are being diverted to pay off debts, a government advisory group said yesterday. The Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV said that a substantial part of the £300 million set aside had been absorbed by primary care trusts (PCTs).

And what is the result of labour's postcode lottery- Wed 5 Jul 06- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)s increases again in 2005- New figures released today by the Health Protection Agency show that the number of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and other conditions diagnosed in genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in the UK increased by 3% between 2004 and 2005.

Chlamydia remains the most commonly diagnosed STI, with 109,832 new cases in 2005, a 5% increase on the previous year. The highest rates of infection and highest increases in diagnoses were seen for both sexes in the 16 to 24 age group.

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