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Peterborough and Cambridgeshire along with Chester and Merseyside is one of two areas in England invited to undertake a feasibility study to identify a more collaborative approach to commissioning sexual health and contraception services that aims to improve the health of local people.

In 2013 the Health and Social Care Act allocated divided the commissioning of sexual health services, including HIV and contraception, between Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS England.

Last year Public Health England and the Department of Health surveyed how this arrangement was working in practice. Their report showed that there was scope for improvement in how commissioners and services work together to align services for patients.

The Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Public Health Team will work with health colleagues to identify a more integrated and cost-effective system wide approach to the commissioning of sexual health and reproductive services.

Cllr Peter Hudson, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Health Committee Chairman, said: “Councils and health colleagues working together across the Peterborough and Cambridgeshire system on this pilot means that we can really make a difference to the short and long term health of our population.”

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Peterborough and Cambridgeshire said ‘This is an opportunity for collaborative working, with support from the national Public Health England team, which could make a real difference for our local residents. We are very pleased to have been selected for this study’

Val Thomas, Consultant in Public Health for both Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, said: “Public Health England has not been prescriptive about how each area approaches its pilot study, we have a free reign to look at developing a model of commissioning which bests suits the needs of our area.

“We will be bringing back recommendations from the Study in a draft report in December or January “

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