New Dunstable clinic makes it easier to check sexual health

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Obtaining sexual health advice and testing is now easier than ever for residents of south Bedfordshire due to a new integrated Contraception and Sexual Health (iCaSH) clinic.

The latest Dunstable Priory clinic was officially opened on Friday 9 November and is the second bespoke hub in the county, bringing all aspects of sexual health under one roof.

Since moving from Kirby Road surgery, clinic availability at Dunstable Priory has increased from once a week to three times a week and services have expanded to include:

>Contraception,

>Treatment and testing for sexually transmitted infections,

>HIV care and treatment, and

>Psychosexual counselling.

Cllr Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Health at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This is a fantastic clinic right on our doorsteps and I was glad to see it launched.

“Sexual health check-ups should be different to visiting the dentist or doctor and, along with the online testing that iCash is providing for us, we hope it will really have an impact for our residents.”

Greg Owen, co-founder of IwantPrEPnow, a website which facilitates the safe purchase of genuine generic PrEP (the HIV prevention dug), cut the ribbon at the launch event. Mr Owen said: “Sex, intimacy and connection are such integral and intrinsic components of our nature and when those things are out of balance, under threat or in the worst cases exploited, it’s the whole person that’s impacted, not just their sex life.

“Services like these have played a huge part in my life previously and to walk into a clinic space and feel comfortable and at ease to talk without fear or judgement or shaming is so important.”

Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) NHS Trust has been delivering integrated Contraception and Sexual Health services (known as iCaSH Bedfordshire) in partnership with Brook and Terrence Higgins Trust since November 2016.

CCS NHS Trust also has a hub in Bedford – Kings Brook – and continues to work with Brook and Terrence Higgins Trust, who provide community outreach services including free condoms, Chlamydia screening and sexual health advice and signposting.

Visit www.icash.nhs.uk/where-to-go for more information.