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Unit at QEQM Hospital, Margate, could host new £2.9m sexual health clinic

Plans to build a £2.9 million sexual health clinic have been tabled.

Kent County Council wants to open the clinic at Flete Unit in the grounds of QEQM Hospital, Margate.

Plans to build a £2.9m sexual health clinic at QEQM Hospital have been unveiled
Plans to build a £2.9m sexual health clinic at QEQM Hospital have been unveiled

The move comes as sexual health services currently delivered in Thanet are either "at capacity" or "lack the facilities" to expand.

KCC's public health cabinet member, Cllr Clair Bell (Con), published a report detailing the proposal, which will be debated by a KCC committee.

In the report, she states: "There is the need to move services to a premise that can offer the full sexual health service to the population of Thanet."

Thanet already provides these services in three main sites - the Minnis Bay Clinic at QEQM Hospital, College Road in Margate and Newington Road in Ramsgate.

But the existing facilities could be integrated into a single site at QEQM, which could be secured through a 15-year lease if plans are approved by councillors next month.

"It's a vital health service that is needed in any area"

Flete Unit has been chosen ahead of several other locations, including three retail units, Margate Adult Education Centre and the Norfolk Road hotel.

But KCC chiefs discounted the other options due to their "unsuitability".

Margate councillor Barry Lewis (Lab), who supports the move, said: "It's a vital health service that is needed in any area, including Thanet."

KCC's commissioned project has been forecast to cost around £2.9m over the next 15 years. The scheme will be run by property management firm Gen2.

If approved, just under £1m will be spent on its construction over the next 12 months, along with running costs during the first year. About £2 million will be spent on running the clinic over the remaining 14 years, until 2036.

Cllr Bell's paper also states: "We need to invest in our infrastructure to deliver sustainable community assets...and to improve Kent's public health outcomes."

A final decision is expected to be made by KCC's health reform and public health committee on April 30 - but could be delayed amid coronavirus fears.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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