Objective: To map sexual health promotion activity and resources across North West England. Study design: Survey. Methods: A survey of all sexual health promotion activity commissioned by primary care trusts (PCTs) was carried out using a self-completion questionnaire for PCT sexual health commissioners in North West England. Results: Sixteen out of 24 PCTs responded. Some PCTs had difficulty in identifying the relevant commissioner. Most activity was focused on young people, especially around the National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) and teenage pregnancy, and on particular high-risk groups such as lesbian, gay and bisexual people, those living with human immunodeficiency virus and commercial sex workers. All PCTs commissioned education/training and a condom distribution service. Other common activities included outreach work, and producing and disseminating materials. Most services were confined to one PCT. Most PCTs were unable to identify the resources committed to sexual health promotion. The emergent themes in the analysis of service development ideas and comments were all linked to commissioning: commissioning and strategy; funding; needs assessment; service development and provision; contracting and monitoring; evaluation and evidence; and regional perspective. Conclusions: A simple tool to map sexual health promotion activities commissioned by PCTs was developed. Many PCTs could not identify a commissioner for sexual health or the resources committed to sexual health promotion. Sexual health promotion activity focused on young people (linked to the NCSP and teenage pregnancy) and particular high-risk groups, with resultant gaps and a mismatch with the epidemiology. The most frequently commissioned activities were education/training and condom provision (despite the limited evidence base). A series of recommendations to PCTs, sexual health networks and providers are made. © 2010 The Royal Society for Public Health.
- Health promotion
- Sexual health