Report claims the Health and Social Care Act is failing People Living with HIV in the UK
APPG: ‘People living with HIV are being denied the right to vital services which could lead to a significant public health failure in the not so distant future’
According to a report launched today by a group of cross-party Parliamentarians on HIV and AIDS, vital services for people living with HIV in the UK are under threat because of changes made under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The report ‘HIV Puzzle: piecing together HIV care since the Health and Social Care Act’ highlights that changes under the Health and Social Care Act have lead to a fragmentation of HIV services and care leading to:
- Major reductions by local authorities to HIV support services threatening to end this vital aspect of HIV care for good.
- NHS England failure to take responsibility for providing pioneering preventative treatment for HIV.
- Inefficiencies and uncertainty for HIV and sexual health services across the country.
The report recommends four vital changes that the Government should make to ensure this situation is addressed:
1. Clarify commissioning responsibility for HIV support services and ensure they are not summarily cut across the country.
2. Encourage Public Health England to urgently develop a whole-service specification for HIV and sexual health, bringing together the various strands of clinical guidance which already exist, to ensure there is clear, consistent advice available to local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England.
3. NHS England needs to urgently acknowledge its responsibility for commissioning PrEP and assess it accordingly.
4. Ensure HIV prevention and testing are not neglected in the wake of decreased local authority budgets and devolved responsibility. Tackling late diagnosis is key to improving HIV outcomes.
Chair of the APPG on HIV and AIDS Mike Freer MP said.
“The Government needs to recognise when elements of legislation aren’t working and that is clearly the case with HIV.
What this report shows, is that devolution of sexual health and HIV services to local authorities has created a great deal of complexity for people living with HIV which must be addressed.
It is simply unfair and unwise to allow services for people living with HIV to suffer because of the shortcomings in the Health and Social Care Act.
The logic behind devolution of public health to local authorities was sound, but the Government must act where we see there are adverse consequences. HIV support services must continue to be funded, PrEP should not have been caught up in a legal battle and HIV testing, prevention and treatment must continue to be provided in the most efficient and effective way.”
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The report will be launched in Parliament on Monday 5th December 12pm-2pm
For more information contact: Susie Pelly