A summary of current government sexual health policy in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The government is developing a new sexual health policy document, expected to be published this year.
Earl Howe said the document “will signpost to existing guidance including clinical guidelines and standards developed by professional bodies and organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
“Local authorities will be able to use this guidance to help them to commission high quality sexual health services. Public Health England will also work with local authorities to determine what other support they may find useful.”
In March 2012 the Health and Social Care Bill completed all its legislative stages. Our briefing below summarises what the Bill means for sexual health services in England.
The Government's 2011 public health white paper Healthy Lives Healthy People proposed changes for sexual health. It proposed that in future sexual health services will be commissioned by local authorities. This means that part of a ring-fenced public health budget will be devoted to sexual health.
FPA is pleased with these proposals as they recognise the importance of sexual health to public health and the importance of prevention.
There will be a sexual health policy document published in 2012 which will contain more detail about priorities for sexual health services.
The current sexual health strategy in Scotland was published in 2005.
Respect and Responsibility: a strategy and action plan for improving sexual health focuses on improving the accessibility of sexual health services in Scotland and making sure that anyone that needs information on any sexual health issue can access it easily and quickly.
The Welsh Government published its current sexual health strategy in 2010.
Sexual health and wellbeing action plan for Wales 2010 to 2015 (PDF) focuses on reducing rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and tackling teenage pregnancy rates. A new National Advisory Board will monitor progress on the strategy.
If you'd like more detailed information and statistics about the state of sexual health in the UK, have a look at our factsheets.
We also have Northern Ireland factsheets, covering relationships and sex education, teenage pregnancy, abortion and other key issues.