NHS spends £14,000 on sex leaflet telling pensioners to 'experiment and use VlAGRA'
Sexual healing: The leaflet, produced at a cost of £13,700, tells pensioners about the health benefits of sex. (Posed by models)
NHS chiefs are under fire for spending thousands of pounds on a controversial new leaflet encouraging pensioners to boost their sex lives with the help of dating agencies and VlAGRA.
The 60-page pamphlet has been attacked as an 'obscene' waste of healthcare funds.
It gives details of dating agencies and sexual health clinics and tells over-60s: 'It's never too late to experiment.'
A total of 20,000 copies are being sent out to older people in Medway, Kent, at a cost of £13,700.
It tells women that sex can protect them against heart disease and osteoporosis by boosting their oestrogen, and help against incontinence by toning their pelvic muscles.
The hormones released can help men against heart disease, strengthen their bones and muscles and ease prostrate congestion, the leaflet states.
It warns against just accepting the sexual problems that may arise with age and says: 'Your general practitioner can probably help you, so don't be embarrassed ask for advice.'
Campaigners and pensioners today dismissed the Ageing Well In Medway leaflet as a pointless expense during the economic downturn.
Widow Ivy Thomas, 79, of Gillingham, said: 'In my day we never spoke of these things and there's no way I'm going to start now.
'Money doesn't grow on trees nowadays, but this lot don't know that.'
Susie Squire, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'This is an obscene waste of money and could even be said to interfere in people's private lives.
'In a time when people are watching every penny it's a wholly inadequate use of healthcare funds.'
But others said sex among the elderly was an important subject.
Toni Lancaster, of Age Concern Gillingham, said: 'We live in an ageing society where people live longer and healthier lives and more and more people continue to be sexually active at an older age.
'Those who want to read it will and those who don't, won't.'
A spokesman for NHS Medway, which produced the leaflet backed by Medway Council and Medway Older Persons Partnership, said: 'The booklet was requested and written by older local people for older local people, in response to an identified need for information on well being, including issues such as loving in later life and healthier living.'