Published: 09:00, 06 August 2014 |
Updated: 09:59, 06 August 2014
Sexual health care in Medway will be centralised to make it more accessible and cut costs for the council.
Currently there are seven centres around the towns where people can go for information and treatment on aspects of sexual health.
But according to Medway Council's head of Adult Services, Councillor David Brake, three of them are underused: Lordswood Community Healthy Living Centre (HLC) in Sultan Road, Medway Youth Trust in New Road, Chatham, and the Balmoral Gardens HLC in Gillingham.
During a cabinet meeting yesterday councillors agreed to withdraw sexual health services from these premises - although their other services continue to run.
Sexual health services in those three centres currently costs council tax payers in excess of £200,000 per year, as a number of rooms have to be rented out and staffed .
In comparison the overall cost of a premises in Chatham town centre - the exact location is not yet confirmed - will be around £55,000.
Cllr Brake said: "The services in centres such as Lordswood were not being used to the extent they were expected to be.
"Bringing sexual health services to Chatham's town centre, with its good transport links, will be more beneficial to the people of Medway.
"Medway Youth Parliament were very clear, young people are sensible and take on board the responsibility of their own health and sexual health."
According to Cllr Mike O'Brien, head of Children's Services, by being more accessible the centre is also expected to "play a major part" in cutting the number of teenage pregnancies.
It is also hoped early diagnosis of HIV will be improved.
Sexual health services for Medway residents are now the responsibility of the council after being transferred from Medway Primary Care Trust in April last year.
It was then recognised that some locations outside the town were not fit for the purpose.
For more on decisions made during the cabinet meeting pick on Friday's Medway Messenger.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.