Sexual Health

Supporting collaboration in London to improve sexual health outcomes

Sexual health services are provided in a range of ways and places, including by GPs, acute hospitals (GUM clinics), community services, pharmacies and the voluntary sector.  The commissioning and delivery of sexual health services is therefore a complex picture. The 32 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England also have some sexual health commissioning responsibilities. Since April 2013, local authorities have had responsibility for commissioning a range of sexual health services, including comprehensive open access sexual health services.  We are working with the Directors of Public Health in London and other key partners to support collaboration between boroughs, improve sexual health outcomes and secure efficient and effective services in the capital.  

London faces some of the most significant levels of sexual ill-health and wider sexual and reproductive issues in the country, including


  • More than 117,000 new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were diagnosed in London residents in 2017, representing a rate of 1,335 diagnoses per 100,000 population
  • The top 20 local authorities in England with the highest rates of new STI diagnoses, 17 were in London.
  • There are significant increases in two types of STis. Syphilis increased by 16% and gonorrhoea by 23%.
  • New cases of syphilis diagnoses reported in 2017 (3,397) was double the number reported in 2013. 
  • In 2017, there have been fewer people diagnosed with numbers of chlamydia (decreased by 4%), genital herpes (by 5%) and genital warts (by 8%).  
  • High risk groups of getting STis are gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). These identified groups account for 29% of London residents diagnosed with a new STI . disproportionately affect young people. London residents aged between 15 and 24 years accounted for 36% of all new STI diagnoses in 2017.

Maps, charts and tables showing snapshots and trends by local authority can be found in Public Health England's sexual and reproductive health profiles.

Our current priorities include:

  • supporting collaboration between boroughs, including the London HIV Prevention Programme and work being developed to collaborate on commissioning GUM services and to consider the case for a sexual health tariff
  • developing an understanding of the future budget implications of London's sexual health service needs
  • supporting the London Sexual Health Programme
  • working with Directors of Public Health in London and NHS England. 
  • working with NHSE, PHE and sexual health commissioners and providers. 


Valerie Solomon, Policy and Projects Manager, Health and Social Care