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GPs ordered to stamp out sick note culture

The Government is to pour funding into a comprehensive revamp of England's sexual health services in a bid to tackle soaring rates of STIs, the White Paper promises.

With one in 10 sexually active young women infected with chlamydia and HIV prevalence rising by 20 per cent in 2002, Health Secretary John Reid told the Commons: 'We have to bring this problem out of the shadows.'

More GPs are to be encouraged to develop a special interest in sexual health and more enhanced services surrounding sexual health will be commissioned to help deal with the problem.

A systematic campaign to cut chlamydia levels will be the cornerstone of the Government's drive, with the national screening programme rolled out over the whole of England by March 2007.

The programme will focus on the 1.2 million women who attend contraception services each year, the vast majority under 25. By 2008 everyone referred to a GUM clinic should be able to have an appointment within 48 hours. Sports centres and supermarkets could offer testing and screening for STIs in an attempt to reach young people and ethnic minority groups.

What the paper says on...

sexual health

·Appointment within 48 hours at GUM clinics by 2008

·Extra investment in GUM services and infrastructure

·The National Screening Programme for Chlamydia to cover the whole of England by March 2007

·More GPs with a special interest in sexual health

·Testing and screening for STIs to be delivered in pharmacies and sports centres

·Multidisciplinary teams headed by nurses to work with primary care providers

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