Monkeypox increasing pressure on overstretched services

By William Eichler | 23 June 2022

Directors of public health have warned of growing pressures on sexual health services due to people presenting with potential symptoms of monkeypox.

There are currently nearly 800 cases with numbers increasing and the UK Health Security Agency has advised people who are concerned they may have symptoms of monkeypox to ‘contact their local sexual health clinic’.

The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) and Local Government Association (LGA) called on the Government to provide additional funding.

ADPH president Jim McManus said: ‘Unfortunately, sexual health services, and the public health budget as a whole, have had to deal with repeated cuts and burdens, and this latest strain on their resources is taking its toll.'

The LGA warned the monkeypox outbreak had exposed the fragility of public health funding.

Chairman of the LGA's community wellbeing board, David Fothergill, added: ‘While it is good to see an increase in people taking their sexual health seriously a rising demand is pushing some councils' sexual health services to peak capacity levels, which are not sustainable in the long-term.'

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