A FORMER family planning and sexual health nurse at Chapel St Clinic has spoken out against plans to close the Chichester service.
Last month, the Observer reported plans by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to relocate the service to St Richard’s Hospital – closing the sexual health services at the clinic.
A campaign group has sprung up in reaction to the plans, called Save Chapel Street Clinic.
Sandie Parker, who used to work at the clinic, feels strongly about its relocation.
“I would like to know how by closing a popular, well established, trusted and reliable sexual health service local to the town will meet the government’s strategy to reduce unwanted teenage pregnancies and the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs),” she said.
“Chapel Street Clinic provides an excellent sexual health service to the people of Chichester and beyond.
“The clinic building is tucked enough away to be discreet and yet easily accessed which, I feel, is a non-negotiable requirement to meet the sexual health needs of young people.
“Young people and especially teenagers, are a very vulnerable client group and they need to know that they can attend a service that feels safe in that they won’t be judged and that their very sensitive concerns and health care needs will be dealt with swiftly and sensitively.
“ Hospitals can be scary places and even more so for young people.”
“There is no direct physical access to the sexual health clinic based at the hospital where young people can make a discreet entry.
“If I were that teenager, I would be out the door.”