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New sexual health centre given the go-ahead

27 June 2008

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is set to bring sexual health services to the heart of Soho by developing a brand new sexual health centre in the area.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is set to bring sexual health services to the heart of Soho by developing a brand new sexual health centre in the area.

The centre, which will be located at 55-57 Dean Street, was granted planning permission at a meeting of Westminster City Council’s Planning Applications Sub-Committee on Thursday 26 June – it is due to open in January 2009.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was rated as one of the best three hospitals in London in the NHS annual performance ratings 2007, and its HIV and sexual health services have an excellent reputation.

More than 66,000 patients used the Trust’s sexual health services in 2007/08 and the Trust provides treatment for almost 5,500 people living with HIV.

Currently these services are based at three main centres – the John Hunter Clinic at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, the West London Centre for Sexual Health at Charing Cross Hospital, and the Victoria Clinic at the South Westminster Centre in Vincent Square, SW1.

However, there is a lack of space at the Victoria Clinic and so services will be moved to the new centre in Dean Street to ensure sufficient capacity to deliver a full range of services so that the Trust meets national targets to give all patients a sexual health clinic appointment within 48 hours.

Dr Alan McOwan, Service Director for sexual health and Lead Clinician at the Victoria Clinic, says: “We are delighted that councillors in Westminster have given us the green light to move ahead with the development of our new sexual health centre in Soho.

“Rapidly increasing rates of sexually transmitted infections mean that it is important for sexual health services to be as accessible as possible which is why we wanted our new centre to be in Soho.

“I am glad to say that the days of sexual health clinics as the ‘Cinderella’ services of the NHS hidden away at the back of hospitals – out of sight and out of mind – are well and truly over.”

Debbie Richards, General Manager for HIV and Sexual Health Services at Chelsea and Westminster, says: “Now that we have been granted planning permission, we intend to work closely with service users and the local community in Soho to shape the services in our new centre.”

Notes to editors

  • Contact Mark Purcell or Charles Whitney in the Trust press office on 020 3326 7080 for further information
  • See www.chelwest.nhs.uk/hiv-sexual-health for more details of HIV and sexual health services run by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

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