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March 26, 2024
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Government “failed to heed” warnings over funding

Today, together with the English HIV and Sexual Health Commissioners’ Group (EHSHCG), we have welcomed the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC)’s recognition that Government have “failed to heed” warnings over funding for sexual health services (SHS) and added their voice to the call for a coherent, national cross-sector strategy on sexual health.

Greg Fell, APDH President, said:

“Together with our partners across the sector, we have long been calling for urgent support in response to rising numbers of sexually transmitting infections in the knowledge that the current system is unsustainable.

“The Public Health Grant, which funds SHS, has seen repeated real-term cuts for nearly ten years. Clinics are manned by incredibly dedicated staff, but it is impossible for them to treat more people without an increase in resources.”

Sarah Aston, EHSHCG Vice Chair, explained:

“The fact that more and more people are coming forward for treatment is a testament to the quality of service SHS clinics provide. However, without adequate funding, clinics will be forced to reduce their services which will mean people are left untreated and STI rates will continue to rise.”

Fell added:

“This is another example of where investment in prevention, while initially costly, will reap rewards later down the line. The Government must start thinking about the long-term and fund programmes which we know prevent ill-health – and save money – before it is too late.”

The WEC have set out a series of wide-ranging recommendations in its report entitled ‘The prevalence of sexually transmitted infections in young people and other high-risk groups’.

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