Unprotected Nation 2015 is a report commissioned by FPA which considers the knock-on effects of a 10% cut in spending on contraception and sexual health services.
A 10% reduced spending scenario could result in:
- an additional £8.3 billion spending due to unintended pregnancies over the next five years
- an extra 72,299 sexually transmitted infection diagnoses by 2020, at a cost of £363 million.
Services already face a £200 million in-year cut to public health spending, due to be implemented by local authorities in January 2016. If this becomes the norm over the next five years, every £1 considered a "saving" in sexual and reproductive health could actually cost £86.
It is not yet known how public health will fare in the spending review, due to be announced on 25 November 2015.
FPA Chief Executive, Natika H Halil, said:
“This report clearly shows that making cuts to sexual and reproductive health funding results in enormous costs further down the line and is incredibly short-sighted.
“We have already seen evidence of service restrictions and the potential effect of further cuts is frankly terrifying. This report must serve as a stark warning to the Government ahead of announcing its spending review.”
What the experts say
“Making cuts to contraceptive services not only makes bad economic sense, it compromises the health and wellbeing of those who are already the most vulnerable."
Dr Anne Connolly, GP and Chair of the Primary Care Women’s Forum
"Two years on from the original 2013 analysis, the 2015 Unprotected Nation report again illustrates the potential impact budget restrictions will have on the nation’s sexual and reproductive health and, in turn, the unwanted impact on public expenditure.
"MSD applauds the work of FPA in continuing to raise awareness about the importance of provision of good sexual and reproductive health services and is committed to working collaboratively with FPA and other stakeholders to try and find effective ways of optimising existing services."
Debbie Porter, Director, MSD
"Unprotected Nation 2015 demonstrates in no uncertain terms that the Government's cuts to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service expenditure represent a counterproductive, false economy.
"Reduced access to SRH services is likely to burden substantial costs on health and wider public services through large numbers of unintended pregnancies. This only serves to highlight that contraceptive care should be a target for further investment, not further cuts."
Dr Chris Wilkinson, President, The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
“Cuts to public health budgets are a false economy, leading to much greater costs in the medium and long-term as we struggle to cure what could have been prevented. This is as true for sexual and reproductive health services as it is for other areas of prevention, a point which has been starkly illustrated by FPA’s Unprotected Nation report.
"As the NHS Five Year Forward View has clearly stated, the future health of the nation and the survival of the NHS is dependent on a radical upgrade in prevention and public health – we need to make those words a reality.”
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Society for Public Health
About the report
The development of Unprotected Nation 2015 was fully funded by a grant from MSD. MSD has not had editorial input or control over the contents of the report. FPA has retained complete editorial control.
Unprotected Nation 2015 was produced by Development Economics Limited on behalf of FPA. It was verified with independent assurance of the social return on investment calculations by Oxford Economics.
Unprotected Nation 2015 is an update to the 2013 report, Unprotected Nation – The Financial and Economic Impacts of Restricted Contraceptive and Sexual Health Services (PDF).
The 2013 report was produced on behalf of FPA and Brook as part of their XES – We Can’t Go Backwards campaign and was funded by and developed in partnership with Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare (UK) Ltd.