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Some progress on Sexual Health Clinics

April 2, 2017 8:50 AM
Claire at LHead Hosp

Claire Malcomson has been leading the campaign

As the closure of Sexual Health Clinics in Surrey starts to come into effect with the transfer of services to CNWL, our campaign demanding proper consultation regarding the clinics is starting to have some effect. Following the first formal confirmation that clinics at 15 of the 18 venues across Surrey would be closing, Claire Malcomson has received a private communication from CNWL - the new service provider. Implicitly acknowledging the likely impact of the closure of clinics, CNWL states

"we are therefore offering sessions twice a week (which will include a focus on young people) in Leatherhead and Epsom and later in the year at Spelthorne and Runnymede, as well as running a new young people's Saturday clinic in Guildford."

Claire Malcomson, Lib Dem spokesperson on Wellbeing at Mole Valley, comments: "We welcome this agreement to continue provision of clinics, especially in Leatherhead and Epsom. However this proposal remains shockingly light on detail and we are very worried that the lack of information on replacement clinics is making it harder for users to get the services they need.

"The last two weeks have shown just how chaotic the re-commissioning of these services has become. Since the likely closure of clinics was brought to our notice at the start of February we have faced ignorance and denial from Conservative councillors at Surrey and Mole Valley. Two weeks ago, Surrey had to take an emergency decision to postpone the transfer of services at Frimley Park and Ashford St Peters for six months at a cost of over £1 million. However a local Conservative County Councillor told us this still meant that services at Leatherhead were safe. Then an article on the Healthy Surrey web-site announced the changes; if you follow the link to a document from CNWL you can find out that services at 15 clinics (including Leatherhead) will close from 1st April. After this was published I received the statement from CNWL regarding continued provision of some clinics.

"Instead of providing members of the public with straightforward facts about which clinics are available when and where, the limited information from the Council has been gloss and spin about how much better the new services will be. There can be little doubt that the confusion surrounding these changes will have prevented many people accessing the services that they need in a timely fashion.

"As a matter of urgency we are asking Surrey County Council to publish a list of which clinics are operating each day next week and to repeat this every week until they have carried out a proper consultation with residents and practitioners and devised a clinic timetable which retains accessible services to residents throughout Surrey.

"Meanwhile I ask all worried residents to demand action from all candidates at the forthcoming County Council elections and to sign our petition calling for proper consultation and for permanent retention of the clinic at Leatherhead."

Sign the petition

More background information