Report of the Director of Public Health.
The Sub-Committee received a report of the Director of Public Health which provided an update on the collaboration between London boroughs on Genitourinary Medicine (GUM) services and the main findings of the market engagement developed by the pan London Sexual Health Transformation Project. The report also set out the next steps of the project consisting of a collaborative procurement plan for GUM and Contraception and Sexual Health Services (CaSH) Services.
Following a brief overview of the report, Members asked the following questions and made the following comments:
· How would high risk groups be identified? How would the CCG ensure that the new service was flexible and responsive to changes in demography and local need?
The Head of Public Health Commissioning stated that the demographics were likely to change and the tendering pack would indicate current demographic information and the potential provider would be obliged to demonstrate that the new services would be flexible and responsive to demographic changes.
· The term ‘family planning’ had fallen out of use in recent years. However, this continued to be an area of concern. Was there another term that could be used to cover family planning issues for those who required this service?
The Head of Public Health Commissioning advised that the aim was to normalise the service as far as possible. The new integrated sexual health service would include family planning and providers would be expected to response to a range of local needs, including domestic violence and child sexual exploitation.
· What were the common Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the GUM and CaSH services and how had they been identified?
The Head of Public Health Commissioning stated that the KPIs has been agreed in line with national specifications in conjunction with local indicators and these related to reducing the incidence of STIs, increasing access to service and improving sexual health outcomes.
· The report indicated that a significant amount of sexual health provision was through GP practices and local clinics. However, was this provision as extensive as that provided at specialist clinics? Was this local provision financially viable or make financial sense given that there were a large number specialist providers?
The Head of Public Health Commissioning stated that NHS England contracted GPs to provide contraceptive services and that a recent local survey shown that many women preferred to access these services locally through their GP rather than at a specialist clinic.
· The review of London GUM clinics and local authority participation in the Sexual Health Services review of 2015 showed that there were a very large number of providers. Were service users prepared to travel long distances to access these services?
The Head of Public Health Commissioning advised that the data showed that there were 34 acute clinics in London and that the number of patients who were tested resulting in a positive diagnosis, was low. Local residents will be encouraged, in the first instance, to access GP services and the service and communications regarding this would clarify pathways to patients.
· There was a concerted initiative in Harrow to educate the community about issues such as diabetes, safeguarding etc. Had consideration been given to implementing a similar initiative with regard to sexual health?
The Head of Public Health Commissioning advised that there were plans to develop a GP federation where groups of GPs could bid to provide specialist services to a wider range of patients in addition to those registered at their practices.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.