In a move that will prove detrimental to sexual and reproductive health services, a ministerial announcement today has confirmed a further £85 million cut to local authority public health budgets. 
The cut, which was announced as part of the local authority finance settlement for 2019/2020,  brings the total cuts to public health to £700 million between 2014 and 2020. 
Since 2013, attendances at sexual health clinics have risen by 13% , while in 2016-17 diagnoses of syphilis and gonorrhoea rose by 20% and 22% respectively. 
Research by FPA has shown that women are also finding it harder to access contraception, with just 2% of GPs offering the full range of contraceptive methods and less than half having the time to fully talk through different options. 
Chief Executive of sexual health charity FPA, Natika H Halil, said:
“In the face of increasing STI rates and unprecedented demand on sexual and reproductive health services, as well as the first incidences of drug-resistance gonorrhoea, it is not only disappointing but extremely alarming to see these cuts to the public health budget.
“The government must end these short-sighted cuts and ensure that sexual and reproductive health services are fully funded to meet the needs of the population.”
Notes to editor
 The local government finance settlement is the annual determination of funding to local government. Following a consultation the allocation will be approved (this will take place in early 2019).
 Figures from The Health Foundation’ Taking our health for granted report.
 PHE, Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): annual data tables (Table 3)
 PHE, Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): annual data tables (Table 1)