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Work begins on sexual health commissioning framework

Work begins on sexual health commissioning framework


Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), local government and NHS England are set to benefit from a national sexual health commissioning framework, developed by Public Health England (PHE). 

The framework will provide practical advice and examples of existing and emerging practice to support the commissioning of services that effectively meet the needs of patients and populations.

The arrangements for HIV, sexual and reproductive health service commissioning have undergone significant change, including the split of responsibilities between NHS England, local authorities and CCGs. 

PHE claims this brings "challenges" as well as new opportunities.

A statement from PHE reads: "In order to address these challenges, and ensure that the opportunities the new arrangements present can be maximised to improve patient outcomes, meticulous partnership working will be required to maintain and develop high quality services, delivered via seamless, integrated care pathways; and ensure the efficient use of available resources."

PHE is developing a national framework with practical tools to facilitate integrated HIV, sexual and reproductive health commissioning. This work is supported by NHS England, the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Public Health and the Department of Health. 

The Medical Foundation for HIV and Sexual Health (MEDFASH) has been appointed by PHE to undertake the work. MEDFASH has a track record of managing major national projects to inform policy development and to provide practical guidance for professionals.

The National Framework for Commissioning HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Health Services aims to:

 - Provide an evidence base for a whole system approach

 - Describe working relationships between Local Government, NHS England and CCGs that will deliver a whole-system approach that meets the needs of local populations

 - Illustrate models of existing and emerging practice in the commissioning of HIV, sexual and reproductive health as a coherent whole system to deliver best outcomes for individuals and populations

 - Demonstrate how new ways of working can support continued modernisation and integration, including examples of coordinated responses linking with other local authority services

 - Produce relevant and practical tools to deliver a whole system approach to HIV, sexual and reproductive health that are flexible and adaptable to meet local needs

A draft document will be ready for consultation by April 2014. The final resource will be available in early summer.


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