The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, says that sexual health services are at a tipping point after demand increased by a quarter in the past five years, while funding has been cut.In 2016 there were 2,456,779 new attendances at sexual health clinics compared with 1,941,801 in 2012. The LGA says that the Government’s cuts to councils’ public health budgets of £531 million – a reduction of nearly 10 per cent – has left local authorities struggling to keep up with increased demand for sexual health services.
In response, Katharine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda has said:
“Sexual health services are vital for the many thousands of women at the sharpest end of inequality – those at risk of poverty, violence and exploitation, and particularly women involved in prostitution. Without these services women will be at greater risk of poor physical health with significant implications for their well being. It is really worrying that these services are under such pressure and it is essential that steps are taken to meet the increased demand to ensure that those most in need do not lose out.”