Westminster Health Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for sexual health services in England - funding, commissioning, and the new sexual and reproductive health strategy

Morning, Thursday, 5th November 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will discuss the future of sexual and reproductive health in England.

Delegates will discuss the development of the updated National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy, which follows agreement by the Government to recommendations made by the Health and Social Care Committee

This conference is bringing together key stakeholders with officials from the Department for Health and Social Care, which is working with Public Health England, NHS England and Improvement, local government and others on preparing the strategy.

Of course the discussion will also reflect what the COVID-19 pandemic has meant for sexual health, including:

  • the impact on delivery of services across sexual health, as well as on service users and providers
  • HIV and other STI transmissions during the pandemic and controlling these as the lockdown eases
  • what has been learned and can be taken forward from the way testing and identifying sexually transmitted infections, and access to online family planning advice, has adapted during the crisis

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

It takes place with:

  • Recommendations from the Health and Social Care Committee report on sexual health, including:
    • development of a new national strategy covering areas such as funding and commissioning, national quality standards for services, prevention, and training and support for the workforce
    • increased funding for sexual health in the next spending review
  • The Health and Social Care Secretary setting a goal to end new transmissions of HIV by 2030 and an action plan for improved prevention, detection and treatment to meet this goal
  • Prevention highlighted as key to sexual health services in the Advancing Our Health green paper
  • The delay to making RSE and health education becoming compulsory in schools from September due to the impact of COVID-19 on resourcing, with guidance already released previously

The agenda:

  • Priorities for the development and implementation of a National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and sexual health, and priority areas going forward for the National Strategy - funding, accountability and patient outcomes
  • Key issues for the National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy and its delivery:
    • Commissioning, collaboration and the integration of local services
    • Patient priorities, access to services and quality of care
    • Workforce support and standards for delivering quality reproductive health services
    • Providing person-centred care for sexual and reproductive health and ensuring a joined-up patient pathway
  • Assessing progress towards the Government commitment to end HIV transmissions by 2030, the impact of COVID-19, and ambitions for the National Strategy
  • Compulsory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and its delivery
  • Improving prevention - accessibility, reducing health inequalities, tackling antimicrobial resistance, and the use of data and population health management to deliver effective interventions
  • Next steps for supporting a preventative approach to sexual and reproductive health services

The discussion in detail:

The National Strategy - its development, and how to meet the Government ambition for the strategy to make sexual health services more holistic, including:

  • providing leadership for sexual and reproductive health
  • the role of stakeholders and the External Advisory Group in the strategy’s development
  • the development of national quality standards across sexual health commissioning and services

The role of local authorities commissioning sexual health services - as they continue to exercise these responsibilities in local areas, looking at:

  • ways of working closer together with the NHS to deliver joined-up services and setting out accountability in the system
  • reducing geographical variation of access to services and addressing issues occurring at local boundaries
  • the identification and sharing of best practice and developing quality standards to assess local sexual health services

Funding requirements - with calls for increases for sexual health in the next spending review, looking at where it should targeted and how to address variation in services

The sexual health workforce - current and future support with education and training, looking at:

  • what can be taken forward from HEE’s 2018 report on improving sexual health services in areas such as workforce sustainability, education and training, and service delivery
  • delivering education and training for both the current and future sexual health workforce and what is needed from the strategy to coordinate this work
  • further issues such as staff shortages, delivery of 21st century care, joining up workforce planning, and the impact of wider policy development on the sexual health workforce going forward

Person-centred care and treatments - looking at key delivery issues, including:

  • making patients feel comfortable in accessing and using the sexual and reproductive health services on offer
  • the ability to tailor treatments and care to the individual’s specific requirements and lifestyle
  • ensuring that patient pathways and use of different sexual and reproductive health services is effective, with smooth referrals and services that work together

HIV transmissions - assessing the progress and next steps in reducing the spread of new infections, looking at:

  • what is required to scale up the national use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) preventative treatment to reduce the risk of HIV infection, and how this can be commissioned
  • the key ambitions for a national strategy and what will be needed to meet the Government commitment to end new transmissions of HIV by 2030

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) -

  • delivering the compulsory curriculum in school
  • issues for implementation with the delay to introduction
  • priorities for supporting schools

Accessibility, tackling sexual health inequalities and what is needed from technological innovation - including:

  • well-connected and convenient locations, availability for vulnerable groups, and further development of online services, learning from developments during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • improving variation in the uptake of cervical screening
  • use of data in population health to introduce interventions targeted at specific local groups and with digital engagement through apps and text messaging
  • providing women with full access to contraception services, and developing general practice, online prescribing and counselling as ways of improving uptake and access

Sexual health research - looking at:

  • tackling antimicrobial resistance in sexual health and reducing infections
  • taking forward research on diagnostics, treatment and education in the national strategy

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.  Places have been reserved by officials from the DHSC and the Government Equalities Office.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Dr Michael Brady

Medical Director, Terrance Higgins Trust, Consultant, Sexual Health and HIV, Kings College Hospital and National Advisor, LGBT Health, NHS England

Keynote Speakers

Dr Michael Brady

Medical Director, Terrance Higgins Trust, Consultant, Sexual Health and HIV, Kings College Hospital and National Advisor, LGBT Health, NHS England

Andrea Duncan

Programme Manager, Sexual Health and HIV, Department of Health and Social Care

Dr Sue Mann

Consultant in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Medical Expert in Reproductive Health, Public Health England

Alison Hadley

Director, Teenage Pregnancy Knowledge Exchange, University of Bedfordshire

Professor Jane Anderson

Co-Chair, External Advisory Group for Sexual Health, Reproductive Health and HIV and Director, Centre for the Study of Sexual Health and HIV

Dr John McSorley

President, British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, Consultant Physician and Lead, Sexual Health and HIV Services, London North West University Healthcare Hospital Trust


Dame Diana Johnson MP

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, 2009 - 2010


Tracey Forsyth

Contraception and Sexual Health Lead Nurse, British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Alex Sparrowhawk

Chair, UK Community Advisory Board; HIV Prevention England Programme Officer, Terrence Higgins Trust and Member, Public Panel, British Association of Sexual Health and HIV

Professor Steve Green

Clinical Director, Communicable Diseases & Specialised Medicine, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Professor Jonathan Ross

Sexual Health lead, National Institute for Health Research and Professor of Sexual Health and HIV, Institute of Microbiology and Infection, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Caroline Free

Associate Professor, Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Sean Perera

Lead for Sexual Health & Clinical Quality, Lloyds Pharmacy Online Doctor