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In a challenging environment, intelligent use of surveillance data can help guide sexual health commissioners’ choices to maximise public health benefit
  1. J Kevin Dunbar1,
  2. Gwenda Hughes1,
  3. Kevin Fenton2
  1. 1HIV and STI Department, Public Health England, London, UK
  2. 2Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr J Kevin Dunbar, HIV and STI Department, Public Health England, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK; Kevin.Dunbar{at}phe.gov.uk

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The past 3 years have seen significant changes for sexual health services in England. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 transferred responsibility for commissioning most of specialist sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services from primary care trusts to local government alongside responsibility for other public health initiatives.1

Since the transition, local government has paid for SRH clinical services and HIV prevention activities from a ring-fenced public health programme grant.2 In the summer of 2015, the government announced that the public health grant would be reduced by £200M3 as part of the national programme of deficit reduction, which is followed by further planned reduction of 3.9% per year until 2020.4 These reductions in the total public health grant will invariably affect the commissioning of local sexual health services and will require local collaboration, innovation and leadership to ensure continuity and improvement to the provision of high-quality services. An intelligent use of available data can help inform efficient and effective commissioning decisions that will support the response to the financial challenges and also ensure the provision of high-quality services. The …

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