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Archive for November, 2011

RCOG – Abortion Guidelines & Honorary Fellowships

25 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has, this week, published its revised guidelines on the care of women requesting induced abortion. The recommendations cover commissioning and organising services, possible side effects and complications, pre-abortion management, abortion procedures and follow up care.  A summary of new and improved recommendations and link to Q&A’s are in the RCOG press release.

Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) – based in the US, is a non-profit organisation recognising the need to create abortion providers for tomorrow:  www.medicalstudentsforchoice.org. They aim to try and correct the drastically falling numbers of providers in the US and Canada – 57% of current providers are over 50. This along with targeted violence, restrictive legislation and medical schools not addressing the issue means doctors are qualifying with little knowledge of abortion.

RCOG Honorary Fellowship

Toni Belfield

Our friend and colleague, Toni Belfield, has, today, been awarded an RCOG honorary fellowship in recognition of her long service in the field of contraception and sexual health and passionate dedication to providing accessible, evidence-based information for men and women. Included in the citation Professor Janice Rymer noted responses from colleagues who said Toni is “One of the most knowledgeable people in women’s health” and “Her contribution is always very sound”.  Her many friends in the field know, love and respect her as an ardent advocate for service users (never patients or clients!) and as someone who always keeps us on our toes when it comes to accurate use of terminology – we always fit IUDs never coils! Congratulations Toni.

Take Action! Respond to the PSHE Review – Deadline 30th November

The Department for Education is running a Review of PSHE including Sex & Relationships Education with a view to improving its delivery in state funded schools. You can read the review and respond online by following the link. The British Humanist Association has succintly summarised the situation and the fears of many in its statement to accompany its own response.


HPV Vaccine – Breaking News

25 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

Gardasil to be used in the UK HPV vaccination programme from September 2012

Posted by Anne Szarewski, Editor in Chief, JFPRHC

The Department of Health made the announcement this week, though it was an inevitability, since there was only one vaccine being considered. GSK had made the decision not to participate in the tender process back in September, but the DH perhaps wanted to make sure that this year’s school vaccination schedule was not derailed by parental confusion – by now most girls in this year’s programme will have had their first two vaccinations of Cervarix.

While Gardasil offers protection against genital warts, which Cervarix does not, Cervarix has been shown to give greater protection against cervical cancer, due to its much greater cross protection against non-vaccine HPV types. Indeed, this was acknowledged in the recent paper by Jit et al (BMJ 2011;343:d5775 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d5775).

However, there has been mounting pressure for protection against genital warts, so this outcome will be welcomed by many, especially our colleagues in GUM. However, if discussing the decision with parents who may be worried that their daughter was ‘given the wrong vaccine’ we can reassure them that by having Cervarix, those girls will have had the benefit of greater protection against cancer. It is a shame that one has to choose: I have long suggested that a potential solution would be to vaccinate girls with Cervarix and boys with Gardasil, which would give herd immunity against warts, offer protection to MSM and still allow girls the better cancer protection.

Online First & Museums

18 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The following 2 articles were published via jfprhc Online First this week:

Advances in intrauterine technique training (Connolly)

This article describes an innovative new way for doctors and nurses to be able to learn how to fit intrauterine devices and systems with realistic simulation, which is much better than a ‘Zoe’. This should increase their confidence and make the first encounter with the ‘live’ patient less stressful for all concerned.  Anne Szarewski (Editor in Chief, jfprhc)

US Administration’s attitude to family planning  (Joseph)

The winner of the 2010 Margaret Jackson Prize Essay for undergraduate medical students has looked at the differences between the Bush and Obama administrations’ attitudes to family planning and abortion. It is taking a long time to reverse the damaging initiatives put in place by the Bush administration: we can only hope that the Right Wing does not triumph in the next election. Anne Szarewski (Editor in Chief, jfprhc)

The following Museum piece was spotted by Toni Belfield (Specialist in sexual health information):
The Phallus Museum in Iceland!

The Icelandic Phallological Museum has the collection of penises of all animals whether on land, sea or air…..  They have plans for a future specimen belonging to Homo sapiens……as reported in The Times 15th November 2011.

and not to forget the more conventional:

Museum of contraception and Abortion (based in Vienna)

Faculty Gains NHS Accreditation for Guidelines

11 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

The Clinical Effectiveness Unit (CEU) of the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has achieved NHS Accreditation for the process used to produce its guidelines. The NHS Evidence Accreditation Scheme recognises organisations that demonstrate high standards in producing health or social care guidance. It is stated that users of accredited guidance can therefore have high confidence in the quality of the information. In future all CEU guidance will display the Accreditation Mark.

This coincides with the release of the latest clinical guidance: Combined Hormonal Contraception – an updated and extended version of the previous guidance on combined oral contraception published in 2006. There are now clinical guidelines on the vast majority of currently available methods as well as Drug Interactions, Quick Starting (methods), Emergency Contraception and others for specific, special groups. This is in addition to the UK Medical Eligibility Criteria.

The CEU was launched in 2002 and after initially being based in Aberdeen transferred to Sandyford in Glasgow in 2008. The director of the current unit is Dr Louise Melvin and its main tasks are producing evidence based guidance, new product reviews and running the Members Enquiry Service.

Clinical guidelines that are evidence-based are an important element of current clinical practice and underpin clinical competence and governance. Along with training they have the potential to raise standards and improve quality of care, though as their name suggests they are intended to guide clinical care not replace clinical judgement as they are applied to general situations rather than to individuals.  In sexual and reproductive health care CEU guidance and FSRH training is increasingly seen as the gold standard by which clinical care is likely to be judged. An example of this was seen earlier this year in a statement from the MDU in response to an increase in the number of claims related to problems with subdermal implants by GPs. The statement stresses the need for, particularly, GP members to ensure they have appropriate training and should ideally hold a Letter of Competence from the Faculty.

Risk of VTE with combined oral contraceptives

4 Nov, 11 | by shellraine, e-Media Editor

Readers are signposted to the Rapid Responses at BMJ Online following last week’s publication of an extended analysis of the Danish Cohort Study on VTE risk with combined oral contraceptives with different progestogens and oestrogen doses.

Volunteers required for CEU guidance
The CEU are looking for volunteers to be involved in the development of the next 3 guidance documents:
Contraceptive choices for women with cardiac disease; Intrauterine contraception; Progestogen-only implants. Details available via the Faculty website.

Young men and contraception  [Brown, published Online First 1 November 2011]
It is rare to see a study looking at young men and their contraceptive views. This pilot study indicates that engaging with young men may be a challenging task. Getting them to talk about contraception and responsibility will be even more so. The young men who participated in the pilot were willing to consider shared responsibility for contraception when talking with the researcher about their contraceptive choices. How these young men view women who take charge of their sexual health reveals a lot about the dynamics of relationship forming and the confusion around contraceptive responsibility felt by young people.
Neelima Deshpande (Associate Editor, JFPRHC)

Brook and FPA launch UK Sexual Health Awards to reward innovation and creativity in sexual health work. There are 6 categories for nominations which close on 31 December. Open to professionals, writers, young people or projects the first awards ceremony is to be held in March 2012, hosted by Davina McCall. Click on the image for more information.

Latest from JFPRHC

Latest from JFPRHC