William Eichler 05 June 2018

Council chiefs warn health budget cuts ‘undermining’ fight against STIs

Council chiefs warn health budget cuts ‘undermining’ fight against STIs  image

Cuts to public health budgets have made tackling sexually transmitted infections a ‘significant challenge’, warn local authority leaders.

New figures on sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in England have revealed that while there was no significant increase in STIs between 2016 and 2017, there was an increase in the the number of syphilis diagnoses.

Published by Public Health England (PHE), they showed that in 2017 there were 422,147 diagnoses of STIs, around the same number that was reported in 2016.

However, there were 7,137 diagnoses of syphilis reported which was a 20% increase on the previous year. There was also a 22% increase in gonorrhoea cases.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chairman of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Community Wellbeing Board, warned cuts to council public health budgets made it difficult for local authorities to tackle STIs.

PHE’s report, for example, found between 2016 and 2017 there was an 8% decline in the number of chlamydia tests.

Most of this decrease in testing took place in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, where chlamydia testing has fallen by 61% since 2015.

PHE believes this is ‘likely reflecting a reduction in service provision’.

‘The worrying rise in chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis suggests that local services are stretched,’ said Cllr Seccombe.

‘Cuts to councils’ public health budgets of £600m have made it a significant challenge to respond at the scale needed.

‘There is no time for complacency. Unless greater recognition and funding is given to councils to invest in prevention services, a reversal in the encouraging and continuing fall in STIs is now a real risk.

‘Health inequalities will remain and councils may be unable to respond effectively to unforeseen outbreaks.’

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Income Recovery Assistant

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£20,344 - £23,836 per annum
We are interested to hear from applicants who can demonstrate the following... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior Occupational Therapist or Senior Social Worker

Essex County Council
£39168 - £47405 per annum
Essex County Council continues to review its ways of working during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work within adult social care with a England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Workers

City of York Council
Various
We are keen to enable our social workers to develop their knowledge and skills to secure the best outcomes for... York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Junior Software Developer / Analyst Programmer

North Yorkshire County Council
£19,945
This is a fantastic opportunity for you if you have an interest in and talent for software development and are looking for... Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Income Recovery Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
You will be a key player in ensuring prompt and effective early action is taken to control and recover outstanding arrears to eviction stage.    Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue