Con­tra­cep­tive de­ci­sion ‘in­de­fen­si­ble’

Doc­tors slam mea­sures to stop mak­ing coil avail­able via GPs af­ter a vote by board

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

HILLING­DON doc­tors have slammed as ‘to­tally in­de­fen­si­ble’ a de­ci­sion to stop mak­ing the con­tra­cep­tive coil avail­able via the GP surg­eries in the bor­ough.

In­stead, women will only be able to re­ceive a IUCD, short for in­trauter­ine con­tra­cep­tive de­vice, from a spe­cial­ist clinic, fol­low­ing a vote of the Hilling­don Health and Well­be­ing Board in De­cem­ber.

Dr Ian Good­man, chair­man of Hilling­don’s Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group (CCG), slammed the de­ci­sion.

“It can­not be jus­ti­fied on the ba­sis of clin­i­cal ev­i­dence or fund­ing,” he said. “Some parts of our bor­ough have teenage preg­nancy rates nearly twice the na­tional av­er­age and pro­vid­ing IUCDs is one im­por­tant way of avoid­ing un­wanted preg­nan­cies.”

He said re­spon­si­bil­ity for this ser­vice moved to Hilling­don Coun­cil in April 2012, along with fund­ing and £4mil­lion for pub­lic health ini­tia­tives.

He added: “We can­not un­der­stand why this de­ci­sion has been made now. We are also very con­cerned that no health im­pact as­sess­ment or equal­i­ties im­pact as­sess­ment was car­ried out prior to this de­ci­sion be­ing made.”

Fig­ures for Hilling­don bor­ough show that 590 women used the IU de­vice, which was 10 per cent of the to­tal of women who used con­tra­cep­tive ser­vices in 2014-2015.

The coun­cil in­sisted that res­i­dents will still have full ac­cess to free coil con­tra­cep­tion and can re­quest an ap­point­ment with the Con­tra­cep­tion and Sex­ual & Re­pro­duc­tive Health Ser­vice on 01895 488 890.

A spokesper­son said: “The only change is that in­stead of vis­it­ing their GPs they will go to a spe­cial­ist clinic which the coun­cil is fund­ing.

“The ser­vice at GPs was one that the coun­cil has funded as a good­will ges­ture since 2014. A de­ci­sion was made to de­com­mis­sion this af­ter a long run­ning fund­ing dis­pute with the Hilling­don Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group.”

Dr Good­man is call­ing on the coun­cil, through the Health and Well­be­ing Board, to set out how any money saved will now be spent.

In­de­pen­dent watch­dog Healthwatch Hilling­don would like to hear the pub­lic’s views. Call 01895 272 997 or email of­fice@ h e a l t h wat c h h i l l i n g d o n . org.uk.

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