HC Deb 13 June 2003 vol 406 c1132W
Mr. Jim Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to increase the accessibility of health advice and treatment far men. [118495]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 12 June 2003]It is important that men are encouraged to take their health needs seriously and to make full use of the information and treatment services offered by the national health service. Men can benefit from the advice and access to treatment that is available to the whole population. The Department, however, is seeking to make health advice arid treatment available to address men's specific needs through a variety of means including the effective use of modern technologies, innovative approaches and more flexible services.

Telephone helplines and websites are playing an increasing role in providing information and advice to men. New services such as NHS walk in centres have contributed to improvements in the accessibility of advice and treatment for men. We run promotion campaigns, such as the Sex Lottery, which raises awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and includes material that targets young men in particular.

We also work in collaboration with other organisations such as Cancer Research UK with whom we have produced a self awareness leaflet on testicular cancer.

The Department works closely with Men's Health Forum, the leading organisation in this field, which has an active information and publications service. We are currently helping to fund the core activities of the Forum and we also fund it to undertake specific projects on men's health.

For the future we are undertaking research to inform policy development on access to advice and treatment for men.

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