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). It also recommended that Health Education England undertake further work with stakeholders to improve signposting to the qualifications developed for professionals working in sexual health and the relevant awarding bodies.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Public Health Forum has created a training directory highlighting the training and qualifications needed by nursing staff working in sexual health. The tool sits alongside a new publication, Sexual and Reproductive Health, which explains the routes into this area of nursing.
Sexual health education directory
This resource highlights training and qualification requirements for registered nurses, midwives, health advisers and nursing associates as well as unregistered health care support staff working in sexual health. Watch the video below.