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PrEP Commissioning

Volume 670: debated on Tuesday 28 January 2020

3. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on providing assistance to local authorities preparing for the routine commissioning of PrEP. (900429)

I have spoken to the relevant Ministers in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and my officials are working closely with other key stakeholders to ensure that we deliver routine commissioning of PrEP—pre-exposure prophylaxis—to help end new HIV transmissions. This is a key interest not only of many hon. Members but of many broader stakeholders, and I know the issue is particularly dear to the hon. Member’s heart.

I am grateful for the Minister’s response and for the Secretary of State’s announcement that he wants routine commissioning of PrEP by April, but what he and the Department have not done is spell out how they will achieve it. The PrEP trial will end this year, and we need a guarantee that every single person who needs and wants PrEP will get it from April.

I assure the hon. Gentleman that NHS England and NHS Improvement have already agreed to fund all the ongoing costs of the drugs for PrEP going forward. We will provide information on how the other elements of the programme will be funded and how commissioners will be supported. He is right that the trial ends in July, but routine commissioning will be rolled out from April—we will make sure they dovetail. It is hugely important that PrEP is available for each and every person who wishes to access it.

In October last year, the Government confirmed that the local authority public health grant will increase by 1% in real terms in 2020-21. However, this funding has not yet been allocated to local authorities. How will the Government financially support local authorities to establish the routine commissioning of PrEP by April?

As I said, NHS England and NHS Improvement have already agreed, within the ring-fenced funding for public health, to fund the ongoing costs of drugs for PrEP going forward. There will be an additional allocation of funds to cover the PrEP roll-out completely[Official Report, 3 February 2020, Vol. 671, c. 1MC.].