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)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

Next steps for sexual health services in England - funding, commissioning, and the new sexual and reproductive health strategy


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will examine the future of sexual and reproductive health in England.

Delegates will discuss priorities for the development of the updated national sexual and reproductive health strategy - where work is re-starting following an interruption due to the focus on the COVID-19 pandemic.

It follows agreement by the Government to recommendations made by the Health and Social Care Committee in their Sexual health inquiry report.

The 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:

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

The agenda:

  • Priorities for the development and implementation of a National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy
  • Meeting women’s reproductive health needs across the life-course and using a system approach to care delivery
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and sexual health, and priority areas 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
  • Progress towards ending HIV transmissions by 2030, ambitions for the National Strategy and the impact of COVID-19
  • Compulsory Relationships, Health and Sex Education (RSHE), its delivery and the contribution of local services
  • 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

Key discussion areas:

  • the national sexual and reproductive health strategy - priorities for its development, and how to meet the government ambition to make sexual health services more holistic:
    • leadership - its provision for sexual and reproductive health
    • stakeholder involvement - and priorities for the External Advisory Group in the strategy’s development
    • quality - development of national standards across sexual health commissioning and services 
  • local authority commissioning - priorities as local authorities continue to exercise these responsibilities in local areas:
    • coordination and accountability - ways of LAs working more closely with the NHS to deliver joined-up services and setting out responsibilities in the system
    • reducing geographical variation - access to services and addressing issues occurring at local boundaries
    • best practice - how it can be identified and shared, and developing quality standards in assess to local sexual health services
  • funding - looking at:
    • levels of funding - with calls for increases for sexual health in the next spending review
    • targeting of resources - and how to address variation in services
  • workforce education and training:
    • what is needed from the strategy - to coordinate delivery of education and training for both the current and future sexual health workforce
    • further issues - 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 - looking at delivery issues including:
    • making patients feel comfortable - when accessing and using the sexual and reproductive health services on offer
    • tailoring treatment - how to put in place the ability to provide care that is suited to the individual’s specific requirements and lifestyle
    • the care pathway - ensuring that patients’ use of different sexual and reproductive health services is effective, with smooth referrals and services that work together
  • HIV transmissions:
    • reducing the spread of new infections - assessing progress and next steps
    • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) - what is required to scale up the national use of preventative treatment to reduce the risk of HIV infection, and how this can be commissioned
    • ending new transmissions - key ambitions for a national strategy and what will be needed to meet the Government commitment halt spread of HIV by 2030
  • RSE - delivering the compulsory curriculum in school, issues for implementation with the delay to introduction, and priorities for supporting schools
  • accessibility of services:
    • provision for women - full access to contraception services with the APPG report finding:
      • women struggling to access contraception during the pandemic
      • reducing variation in uptake of cervical screening
    • location - well-connected and convenient locations, accessible by vulnerable groups
    • digital engagement - learning from developments during the pandemic, priorities for further development, use of apps and text messaging, and online prescribing and counselling
    • targeted interventions - use of data in population health to help provide series to specific local groups

Relevant developments at a glance:

  • PHE establishes National Framework for e-Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare - recently published to support service development and local commissioning in response to COVID-19
  • the new National Institute for Health Protection - with calls for clarity on whether it will be responsible for sexual health services
  • policy and funding recommendations - from the Health and Social Care Committee Sexual health inquiry, 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
  • People urged to practise safer sex as gonorrhoea cases in England rise by 26% - reported by PHE
  • Women’s Lives, Women’s Rights: Strengthening Access to Contraception Beyond the Pandemic - the recent report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on APPG on Sexual and Reproductive Health
  • prevention - highlighted as key to sexual health services in the Advancing Our Health green paper
  • HIV - the Health and Social Care Secretary setting a goal to end new transmissions by 2030, and an action plan for improved prevention, detection and treatment
  • RSE - the delay to making Relationships and sex education compulsory in all schools from September due to the impact of COVID-19 on resourcing
  • innovation and tacking inequalities - the launch of PHE’s Reproductive Health, Sexual Health and HIV Innovation Fund 2020-21 with the fund particularly looking to support organisations that focus specifically on black and ethnic minority communities

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

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Health Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates