THE CHAPEL Street sexual health clinic in Chichester will close from June 1, as all the services are brought together at St Richard’s Hospital.
Under the banner of Sexual Health Chichester, the Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the changes would ‘give people longer opening hours and greater convenience’.
From June 1, all the services for sexual health and contraception will be located at St Richard’s, giving people one-stop appointments where all the needs can be addressed.
The new service will be based on the current site of the Fletcher Unit at the hospital.
All staff are set to be moved to St Richard’s from Chapel Street, with the trust saying the changes did not involve any redundancies.
A spokesman for the trust said: “The new service replaces the previous set-up where staff and services were divided between the hospital and the Chapel Street clinic.
“That arrangement had the potential to produce delays and inconvenience for people who required both sexual health and
contraceptive services and therefore had to attend two separate appointments at different sites.
“The new integrated clinic will ensure that the vast majority of people will get the contraception, screening, or treatment services they need in a single visit.
“There will also be late-evening ‘drop-in’ clinics three times a week plus a drop in clinic on Saturday morning.”
The changes follow a staff consultation process by the trust, which provides sexual health services across the county.
The new system follows in the footsteps of Worthing and Crawley and comes about after a consultation process over the closure of the Chapel Street Clinic.
The spokesman said: “During this consultation process some concerns were raised about the loss of city-centre contraception services, and although evidence from elsewhere indicates that this is unlikely except in the very short term, the trust has teamed up with West Sussex County Council to ensure that clinics for young people will also be offered at the centrally-located ‘Find It Out’ centre.
“Students can also access advice and services at clinics at Chichester College, while there will also be investment in community-based sexual health services in the surrounding area, particularly Bognor Regis.
Jeannie Baumann, director of clinical services for women and children’s health at the trust, said: “Until now people in Chichester were not able to access the same ‘one-stop’ services which were available elsewhere in the county, and we are delighted to be able to make these improvements.
“We believe that the new Sexual Health Chichester service will mean longer opening hours, fewer delays, and the convenience of being able to access all services in a single visit.”
For more details about the new services, including opening hours, visit www.sexualhealthwestsussex.nhs.uk