About the project

Our erectile dysfunction (ED) project aims to address the inequality and inequity of ED service provision across the UK and standardise the ED treatment and support services that are available so that all men get access to the best ED treatment and support after prostate cancer treatment regardless of where they live in the UK.

Why we're doing it

One of the main barriers that prevent men accessing appropriate treatment and support for ED is the current prescribing guidance. The current guidance on impotence prescribing - called the Health Services Circular on Impotence (HSC 1999/148) - was produced in 1999, and fails to provide current best practice for treating men with prostate cancer treatment induced erectile dysfunction (ED) and has only received piecemeal updates such as one last year which removed generic Viagra from the guidance and opened it up for wider NHS prescribing.

Prostate Cancer UK's FOI request data highlights areas where commissioners provide a good choice of ED services and areas that provide little or no ED service, resulting in a 'post code lottery' of ED service provision across the UK. In order to empower men to demand ED services from their health care providers, men need to be informed as to what ED services are available and what service provision is available from their local commissioners and NHS Trusts. This combined with the fact that often men and health care professionals can often find erectile dysfunction a difficult issue to approach.

How we're doing it

Our Change Delivery team are leading on work to address these issues in variation and inequality in access, informing and empowering men as to what ED provision is available and supporting them to take action locally to address the issues regarding poor ED service provision and access across the UK. The overall aim of the initiative is that all prostate cancer patients receive standardised, up to date ED care and support that provides them with the choice of ED support and services they need to return them to their pre-treatment baseline function regardless of where they live in the UK.

We are:

  • Campaigning for the ED national guidance to be updated so that men can access the treatments they need to return them to their pre-treatment baseline function.
  • Campaigning for all men to have access to the following 5 ED services/support: PDE5-i (Daily low Cialis), Vacuum Erection Devices, Erectile Dysfunction Clinics, Psychosexual Services and Counselling.
  • Empowering men to campaign to improve ED services locally.
  • Working with health professionals and commissioners to ensure that professionals recognise and prioritise the need for ED services to improve the quality of life of prostate cancer patients.

How you can help

There are a number of ways you can get involved with our ED project and help improve care for men in your area. You could:

  • Download our ED guidelines
  • Sign up to our online learning portal for Health Professionals and take our free online courses - Management of Erectile Dysfunction and Lets talk about Sex, Relationships and Prostate Cancer.
  • Attend a Primary Care Masterclass in your area and stay up to date with the latest best practice in primary care for prostate cancer.
  • Look out for our exciting new digital resource, due to be launched in October, which will help you identify what ED services are available for your patients in your area and help support us to keep this up to date.

To get involved directly with our campaign, please contact Change Delivery Manager, Steven Rowntree via steven.rowntree@prostatecanceruk.org


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