(2) if she will take steps to ring-fence funds allocated for sexual health care.
Sexual health services are funded through revenue allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs). The 2006-07 and 2007-08 revenue allocations separately identify funding to support the initiatives set out in the White Paper, “Choosing Health: making healthy choices easier”, such as sexual health modernisation and Chlamydia screening. A copy of the White Paper is available in the Library. It is for PCTs to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission services to meet the healthcare needs of their local populations.
The national health service must be free to make its own local spending decisions and we do not believe it is necessary to increase the burden on the NHS by collecting and monitoring details of their expenditure or by ring fencing funding. Rather we are interested in the real outcomes from local investment, and this is why we have introduced sexual health into the local delivery planning process and have now identified this area as a key priority. This will enable us to see where real improvements are being delivered in areas such as waiting times and rates of infections.