The FSRH and RCOG reiterate that to facilitate family planning and to prevent unplanned and unwanted pregnancies it is essential to ensure that all women requiring contraception have access to high quality comprehensive contraceptive care. This must include the provision of all methods including emergency contraception and long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) which offer women the greater protection against unplanned pregnancy than other reversible methods. In addition to high quality care provided in general practice, open access specialist services are required to meet the needs of all women.
We welcome the inquiry recommendation to increase the number of professionals who are trained to provide contraceptive advice and this should include doctors working in a range of settings including general practice, and midwives, community and school nurses, health visitors and pharmacists. The FSRH sets national standards for contraceptive care and is currently working with the RCOG, the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal College of Nursing to increase access to contraception training.
The changes to the commissioning of contraceptive services in England present some challenges, as significant parts will be commissioned not by the NHS, but by Local Authorities. The FSRH is working with the NHS National Commissioning Board, Public Health England and the Department of Health to meet these challenges and ensure a safe transition for contraceptive services.
Dr Chris Wilkinson, President of the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) said, “We welcome these recommendations; they are particularly timely in relation to the changes in commissioning of sexual health services in England and should remind us all of the importance of providing services based on the reproductive health needs of women of all ages.”
20 December 2012
To read the full report The Morning After: A Cross Party Inquiry into Unplanned Pregnancy please click here.