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Chlamydia: Screening

Volume 504: debated on Friday 29 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what targets were set by his Department for testing under 25 year-olds for chlamydia under the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (a) nationally, (b) in each region and (c) in each primary care trust within London in each of the last five years; what testing levels were achieved; and how much has been spent on the programme to date. (313690)

To date there have been four annual indicators set with regards to chlamydia screening/testing. The first related to the period 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008; the following three indicators were set for each consecutive fiscal year 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2011.

In April 2007, we introduced a national health service local delivery plan data monitoring line (LDP PSA11d). The LDP line measured the proportion of the population aged 15 to 24 years screened for chlamydia through the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP). The expectation set for the LDP was for 15 per cent. of the 15 to 24-year-old resident population in each primary care trust (PCT) to be screened for chlamydia between 1 April 2007 and 31 March 2008.

In 2008-09 chlamydia was included as a tier two vital signs indicator. This measures the proportion of the 15 to 24-year-old total population tested for chlamydia outside of genito-urinary medicine clinics. In 2008-09 the expectation was for 17 per cent. of the target population to be tested for chlamydia, 25 per cent. in 2009-10 and 35 per cent. in 2010- 11.

Data on the numbers tested in the NCSP, nationally, in each region, in each PCT within London and the testing levels achieved, have been placed in the Library.

The Department does not break down PCT allocations by individual policy areas, at either the national or local level, or monitor how PCTs spend their allocations. It is for PCTs to decide their priorities for investment locally taking in to account both priorities and the national health service operating framework. However, a National Audit office report ‘Young people's sexual health: the National Chlamydia Screening Programme’, published on 12 November 2009, estimated that between 2003 and 2009, £100 million had been spent on delivering the programme.