Screening Programmes for Chlamydia Not Adequate, Government Claims

The Government today admitted that it has no idea if a programme to drive down Chlamydia infections is having an effect. In addition, it claimed that measures incorporated to keep a check on the progress of the screening programme across health trusts in England are not up to mark.

Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexual infection and more than half of all new cases in 2008 were among under-25s. It can result in women to suffer pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility and ectopic pregnancies, if ignored.

Five years after the programme's launch, a mere 4.9 per cent of people aged 15 to 25 were being tested. However, the target was 15 per cent.

Today's report from MPs said, "Since the programme's launch an estimated £100m has been spent but the department does not yet know what effect, if any, this has had on reducing the prevalence of the infection”.

It is cited that the department lacks urgency in pushing PCT’s to touch a high volume of testing; revealing that the programme has not yet reached the level of activity where models augur that the prevalence of Chlamydia will be significantly reduced.

The report also suggested that the cost of testing varies between health trusts and there is incompetent commissioning of services and equipment.