Government announces new measures to piece together HIV care in light of APPG debate on The HIV Puzzle
Today, the Minister for Public Health, Nicola Blackwood MP, announced a series of measures including the extension of the public health ring-fence until 2019 in response to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on HIV & AIDS’ report The HIV Puzzle: Piecing together HIV care since the Health and Social Care Act.
Chair of the APPG on HIV & AIDS, Mike Freer MP, held a Westminster Hall Debate today on the APPG’s report The HIV Puzzle on HIV care and treatment.
The aim of the report was to inform the debate around HIV policies and provide insight into the way in which HIV and sexual health services are delivered in England in light of changes to commissioning brought about by the Health & Social Care Act 2012.
The APPG launched its inquiry over a year ago to investigate the impact of the Health & Social Care Act since its implementation in 2012 and as part of its call for evidence heard from people living with HIV, clinicians, advocacy groups, local authorities and public health in Manchester, Wales and Scotland.
Among the recommendations drawn from the evidence provided to the group were calls on the Government to:
- Ensure HIV prevention and testing remain appropriately commissioned to prevent new infections
- Clarify commissioning responsibility for HIV support services
- Encourage Public Health England to mandate local authorities, CCGs and NHS England to provide clear and consistent advice across all providers
- Give more clarity on NHS England's responsibility for commissioning pre-exposure prophylaxis and the upcoming 2017/18 clinical trial.
In response to the debate, the Minister announced that the ringfence around public health budget has now been extended by a further year until 2019. The Public Health Minister also recognised that work needed to be done on improving commissioning of HIV services and announced a PHE action plan to support commissioning with pilots to address fragmentation.
Commenting on the debate Mr Freer said: “It really is positive to learn the Government are putting in place a number of measures that had been recommended by the APPG. The announcements made by the Minister today represent significant developments which will be welcomed by the Group and other campaigners who have worked tireless on this.”
A full link to a video of the debate can be found here (http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/858818dc-47b0-44c9-9972-e313d0a...)