The current model of sexual health services commissioned within Derbyshire is delivered by different providers, with Genitourinary medicine (GUM) commissioned and provided separately to Contraception and Sexual Health (CASH) services. While the services have responded to changes in need and the challenges of the previous national strategy for sexual health, there remains significant potential to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of services in meeting the needs of the population.
Derbyshire County Council is commissioning an ‘Integrated Sexual Health Service’ (ISHS) which shall enable more strategic planning of locations and accessibility of services. The service shall commence April 2015 and shall deliver a managed sexual health service based on a Primary Contractor model and aims to reduce sexual health inequalities by providing an equitable service to Derbyshire residents facilitating prompt access in line with need.
Responsibility for commissioning sexual health services is now shared between Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and National Health Service (NHS) England. These organisations have joint responsibility to ensure sexual health services are effective (based on good evidence) and efficient (providing value for money) and need to work together. Such partnership working also extends to others with a stake in improving sexual health, including Public Health England (PHE) and Health and Wellbeing Boards, as well as service providers and current or potential service users.
Investing in sexual health services has been shown to be cost effective. Investment in the provision of contraception and the reduction of unplanned pregnancies and in the reduction of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) results in significant benefits, both for the NHS and for on-going health and social economy, throughout childhood and adulthood. Significant returns on investment are demonstrated in the reduction of costs relating to termination of pregnancy (TOP), maternity care, drug costs and in on-going social welfare, personalised services, housing and education.
The Sexual Health contract has been held by the Federation for the last three years and has recently been extended for a further year until April 2019. At which point we hope to renew this vital contract.