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Sexual health commissioning guidelines released


14 January 2014

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A comprehensive review of how sexual health services should be commissioned has released by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). 
Published in conjunction with the Medical Foundation for HIV and Sexual Health (MEDFASH), the standards were revised following the recent changes to the commissioning landscape. 

A comprehensive review of how sexual health services should be commissioned has released by the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH). 
Published in conjunction with the Medical Foundation for HIV and Sexual Health (MEDFASH), the standards were revised following the recent changes to the commissioning landscape. 
Since the passing of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, local authorities now commission most services managing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England, working alongside clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS England. 
The standards set out quality measures for services commissioned by local authorities to achieve, aligning them with the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence quality standards. 
The nine standards bring together and contextualise existing guidance to give the new local authority commissioners the tools to tackle these sexual health challenges, and to deliver on their ambitions to improve sexual health outcomes across populations.
They cover issues for commissioners, service providers, healthcare professionals and the public, including service users. They are applicable across all sexual health services and should ensure that service users get the same standard of care irrespective of where they attend for their sexual health needs.
Dr Immy Ahmed, former president of BASHH and Project Clinical Lead for the standards said:
“Despite progress in recent years, the UK continues to have high rates of STIs and important challenges in sexual ill-health remain, including high numbers of people with HIV who are unaware of their condition, and significant and rising rates of STIs among men who have sex with men.”
The standards have been endorsed by all the leading bodies representing professionals providing sexual health services as well as Public Health England, the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Public Health.
A copy of the standards are available to view on the MEDFASH website

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