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Family Planning: Expenditure

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much each health trust spent on family planning services in each year since 1997; (150970)

(2) how the £20 million earmarked for improving access to contraceptive services and long acting reversible contraception in 2007-08 will be audited.

Family planning services are funded through revenue allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs). It is for PCTs to determine how to use the funding allocated to them to commission services, including contraceptive services, to meet the health care needs of their local populations.

We have no plans to audit how Choosing Health funding allocated to PCTs to improve sexual health, including access to contraception, was spent. 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.

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 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.