Following an article by KCW Today, plans to close Chelsea’s last remaining family planning clinic have been reversed, keeping sexual health services in the area.
In the March edition, it was reported that the Violet Melchett family planning clinic was due to be closed, moving the services it provides to a hub clinic in Marylebone. The decision to close the Violet Melchett was made despite the fact that the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is actually facing an increased number of patients with STI’s according to Public Health England.
However, NHS Central London Community Health (CLCH) have since then decided to keep evening clinics at the Violet Melchett, while additionally re-opening Wednesday and Friday clinics at the World’s End family planning clinic, which had been cancelled earlier in 2015.
Cathy Walker, NHS CLCH Divisional Director for sexual health services, said: “services for local people are being enhanced by the changes at the Violet Melchett health centre, which provides a range of community healthcare services including four sessions a week for sexual health.” Explaining that by “working with the Council’s public health team and West London Clinical Commissioning Group we have now agreed to move two daytime sessions to the World’s End Health Centre, King’s Road SW10. We will keep the two evening sessions at Violet Melchett as these are not affected by the wider service developments. These changes will start from Monday 25 April 2016.”
Walker continues to say: “our sexual health services are commissioned across the three boroughs of K&C, Westminster and H&F as a single service available to all regardless of where you live so people can use clinics close to home or work. They provide a range of contraception and testing services and there has never been any plan to reduce the total number of clinic sessions.”
Staff and patients at the clinic had launched a petition to decry the plans to close the Violet Melchett clinic. An administrator at the Family planning clinic responsible for creating a petition against the closure said: “It is very good news and all staff are happy that the services will be kept in the borough.”
They explain that while the clinic’s patients are “happy” that the clinic will remain in the borough, they are “not too pleased that the daytime clinics are moving.”
A full list of clinics and opening times has been made available by NHS CLCH as an online map at http://bit.ly/SHLondon_CLCH