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Sexual health in disarray

The new contract is 'in complete conflict' with the Government's national sexual health strategy, GP sexual health specialists claim.

Cervical screening, emergency contraception and pre-conceptual advice are the only areas to attract quality funding. Other areas come under enhanced services.

But from April 1 all practices are expected to work towards level one of the sexual health strategy. This means offering sexual history taking, STI testing for women, HIV and pregnancy testing, contraceptive services, male STI assessment and referral and cervical screening.

Dr Chris Ford, RCGP sex, drugs and HIV task group chair and a member of the sexual health strategy steering group, said putting contraception in the additional services section and other sexual health services in the enhanced section was 'back to front'.

Department of Health sexual health programme manager Jane Mezzone agreed there was 'perceived dissonance' between the contract and Government sexual health policy.

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