Young People's Sexual Health: the National Chlamydia Screening Programme
HC 283, Seventh Report of Session 2009-10 – Report Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons – Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Young People's Sexual Health: the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (HC 283)' examines the delivery of the Chlamydia Screening Programme, the efficiency of services and the Department of Health's approach to managing a national initiative in a devolved National Health Service. Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed bacterial sexually transmitted infection and the prevalence of this infection is increasing, especially in young people under the age of 25.
The Programme was launched in 2003: it is overseen by the Health Protection Agency (the Agency) and delivered locally by the 152 Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England. Since the Programme's launch an estimated £100 million has been spent but the Department does not yet know what effect this has had on reducing the prevalence of the infection. The Department's lack of urgency in pressing PCTs to reach a high volume of testing means that the Programme has not yet reached the level of activity where models predict that the prevalence of chlamydia will be significantly reduced.
The Department missed an opportunity to refine the Programme and to improve its cost-effectiveness, during the lengthy rollout. When PCTs increased their activity to meet a new target to test 17% target of the 15-24 year old population, a fragmented and inefficient programme became even more wasteful of taxpayers' money.
The Department should:
identify the most cost-effective local delivery strategies;
establish regional or national commissioning arrangements;
increase testing numbers; and
measure the Programme's impact on the prevalence of chlamydia.
By improving efficiency, economies estimated at £40 million per year could be made by 2010-11.
|Format||Paperback||Published||28 Jan 2010|
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