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Sexual health clinics for south Wiltshire
DEDICATED open access sexual health clinics are set to be provided in the south of Wiltshire as part of a new healthcare contract.
Wiltshire Council is going out to tender for a new five-year contract to provide open access sexual health services, and bosses say they need to make sure south Wiltshire does not continue to lose out.
Currently, all the dedicated community contraception and sexual health (CaSH ) clinics are in the north of the county, in Trowbridge, Melksham, Chippenham, Calne and Devizes. The new contract will run from September next year, once the current arrangements with Sirona Care and Health expire.
Sexual health is part of the public health responsibilities that the council took over in April this year.
A report to Cabinet chiefs from corporate director Maggie Rae says although people can go to shared genito-urinary medicine and CaSH clinics at hospitals including Salisbury District Hospital, there need to be changes because the current spread of clinics is not fair. The report says: “Better geographic placement will enable easier access to specialist services for more vulnerable people, especially young people who rely more on public transport.”
Ms Rae says CaSH services in Wiltshire are well used, with 6,301 appointments during 2012-2013. During 2012 there were 2,344 acute sexually transmitted infections, a three per cent increase on 2010. However, the rate in Wiltshire is much lower than in England as a whole.
Cabinet chiefs have agreed that Ms Rae and public health and public protection portfolio-holder Councillor Keith Humphries will decide on the contract along with the council’s solicitor and chief financial officer.
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