Councils warn sexual health services at ‘tipping point’

NAT (National AIDS Trust) supports LGA calls for Government to reverse cuts to public health.

The Local Government Association (LGA) today warns that sexual health services are at ‘tipping point’ as significant increases in demand have coincided with dramatic cuts in the public health budget.

NAT’s recently published data from FOI requests to all UK local authorities, shows that HIV prevention services are also suffering hugely as a result of these cuts to the public health budget.

In areas with a high prevalence of HIV, NAT found that funding for prevention was down by almost a third in just two years.

Deborah Gold

Deborah Gold

Deborah Gold, Chief Executive at NAT, said: “The cuts to public health are short-sighted and store problems for the future. If cuts in HIV prevention continue at their current rate we will lose key services which we know to be effective at reducing HIV transmission. The impact of this will be worsened if wait times also increase for sexual health clinics. A failure to take public health investment seriously will lead to increased rates in HIV and other STIs, alongside further cost to the NHS and local authorities. 

“NAT fully supports the LGA’s call for the Government to reverse the cuts to the public health budget. These cuts have been opposed repeatedly by us and others in the health sector, by the Health Select Committee last year and more recently by the Lords Committee on the Long Term Sustainability of the NHS. 

“This stark warning from councils on the impact that public health disinvestment will have on the quality of sexual health services shows the pressure the whole system is under. It is now well past the time for the Government to start listening.”

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