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Sexual health, reproductive health and HIV workforce

The Five Year Forward View articulated the NHS’ strong focus on preventing avoidable ill health and premature mortality. Sexual and reproductive health is a key component of our health and wellbeing, affecting men, women and transgender people throughout their lives. HEE has a role in commissioning education and training for both public health specialists and other public health staff. Our work in this area includes working with partners to improve education and training on sexual and reproductive health and HIV, and to contribute to the sustainability of the workforce.

Sexual and reproductive health is a key component of our health and wellbeing, affecting men, women and transgender people throughout their lives. Those from vulnerable and marginalised communities may suffer if they find it difficult to access these services. 

The commissioning and provision of sexual health, reproductive health and HIV services in England is complex. There is a lack of clarity over the division of responsibility for the education and training of this workforce.

We have undertaken scoping into the size of the workforce delivering sexual health, reproductive health and HIV services, what trends exist in the needs of our population, and the key issues affecting this workforce. Our report, available at the bottom of the page, summarises the findings, including:

  • the commissioning and provision of these services in England is complex and fragmented affecting patient experience and continuity of care;
  • the workforce includes a broad range of medical and non-medical, specialist and non-specialist staff, but has not been fully defined making planning difficult;
  • many of the professions working in these services do not have clear education and pre- and post-education and training pathways.

This report sets out recommendations for both ourselves and stakeholders to improve workforce planning, education and training in this area. It has been supported by the Local Government Association (LGA), Shropshire County Council, Spectrum Community Health Community Interest Company, Marie Stopes United Kingdom, NHS England’s Nursing Directorate and British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS).