Public Health England (PHE) has published the Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV: commissioning review, covering the findings and action plan from a national survey of commissioning arrangements for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and HIV services.

The commissioning review details an action plan for SRH and HIV services based on the responses from a survey of local authorities, NHS England, and CCGs carried out in 2016. After analysis of the results, PHE identified several areas of concern:

  • fragmentation of commissioning
  • ensuring access to services, particularly for those at greatest risk
  • contracting problems including cross-charging for patients attending services outside of area
  • workforce—clinical expertise both in service delivery but also in commissioning
  • increasing demand for some services
  • financial pressures due to reductions in budgets—particularly in local authorities.

In order to try and improve commissioning in the area of SRH and HIV, the action plan includes five main categories:

  • reduce fragmentation of commissioning and reduce contracting barriers
  • support commissioners in the delivery of effective commissioning
  • build capability in commissioning
  • provide evidence and data to support commissioning and the monitoring of outcomes
  • ensure that SRH and HIV commissioning is explicitly considered within the development of the new funding mechanisms for public health over the next 3 years.

Feedback and questions on the report will continue to be accepted until 31 October 2017.