The Royal College of Nursing has called for greater investment in school nurses and sexual health services after the Government’s chlamydia testing programme came under fire from MPs.
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A report from the Public Accounts Committee criticised the programme, claiming that not enough was being done to check its progress.
The RCN said more needed to be done to raise awareness of the UK’s most common sexually transmitted infection, claiming that prevention is better - and less expensive - than a cure.
Dr Peter Carter, general secretary of the RCN, said: “For years the RCN has said that raising young people’s awareness of chlamydia is key to preventing the disease.
“Greater investment in school nursing and sexual health services is needed to ensure young people are fully aware of the risks of sexually transmitted infections before it is too late.”
A report published by the National Audit Office in November found several flaws in the programme, including a lack of dialogue about safe sex between health workers and patients who had been tested for the infection.
Tory MP Edward Leigh, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, said: “This is a classic example of what can happen when the responsibility for delivering a national initiative is pushed down to local level, with little thought about the mechanisms and interventions needed at national and regional level to maintain efficiency and momentum.”