Young people have been ‘let down’ following the closure of a popular sexual health clinic in Sheffield, according to a city charity.
Steve Slack, chief of The Sheena Amos Youth Trust, a Sheffield charity for young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, has criticised yesterday’s closure of the clinic in Mulberry Street, city centre.
He fears young people and families will be left with ‘little provision’ for sexual advice, testing and contraception.
But Dr Claire Dewsnap, clinical lead for Sexual Health Sheffield, said there is no such risk as all services are being transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
Mr Slack said: “I am very concerned that there will now be little provision in the city centre for young people or young families who need sexual health or contraceptive advice, support or treatment. Many people will find it difficult to access services at the Hallamshire Hospital.”
Mr Slack expects to see a rise in rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies over the next few years
He said: “This is yet another example of central Government’s cuts to public health impacting on young people. Such cuts may save money in the short term but will in the long term, I believe will be more costly.”
Dr Dewsnap said: “We are not reducing or stopping any sexual health services, we are relocating services from the Mulberry clinic, which some patients do not feel is an appropriate environment, to the custom built facilities at the Royal Hallamshire hospital. There will still be access to sexual health services in the city centre and for young people there will also be specific youth clinics operating at the hospital site Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.”
“We will continue to monitor access rates, listen to users views and other important factors to ensure we are providing the right care in the right place at the right time. We are also actively working with people who use our services to look at future developments which will support people in the most vulnerable groups or areas of our city and with GPs to ensure a true network of care across the city.”
For more information, visit: www.sexualhealthsheffield.nhs.uk/