On The Bus, On The Web, But Not On Doorstep

Review of Chiswick's sexual health services planned for August

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Responding to an earlier article about cuts in Family Planning and Sexual Health Services at Brentford and Chiswick Health Centres, a spokesperson for NHS Hounslow said they were "committed to providing a range of sexual health services which best suits the needs of the local population."

He continued, "There is review of the new opening times for all the clinics, six months after the changes were introduced, planned for early August 2009, to look at the impact of the new timetable and get feedback from patients.

"The review will include feedback from GPs, health centre and clinic staff and patients. The period of six months was chosen, as this gives time for the new clinic timetable to be advertised and adopted by patients and so that the provider can look at the activity figures and demand for services."

“I have to wait over three weeks to see my practice nurse for a smear test,” said a patient registered at Chiswick Health Centre. “Before these cuts I would have managed to get to one of the clinics for a test but Tuesdays are impossible for me during those times.

"The fact that they [the NHS] find travelling to Hounslow a solution to not waiting three weeks for an appointment is beyond me.”

Until they were withdrawn in February, there were three clinics a week held at Chiswick Health Centre which were open to all. The cut backs mean that there is now just one clinic - Adult Family Planning for the over 25s on Tuesdays between 5.00 and 8.00pm.

NHS Hounslow cannot comment on individual cases but said, "Earlier this month we contacted GPs recommending they should treat patients asking for smear tests. If a patient has comments on the service they can call or email our Patient Experience and Liaison (PALs) team on 0800 953 0676 or email pals@hounslowpct.nhs.uk"

Hounslow’s family planning service for the under 25's, known as KISS, is available at Heart of Hounslow and Feltham polyclinics as well as Isleworth and Bedfont Health Centres but not in Brentford or Chiswick.

"People can find out all you need to know about the symptoms of STIs, how to protect themselves and where to turn for help and other general advice issues such as pregnancy and contraception on our website. Safer sex means thinking about these issues, but most importantly doing something about them."


June 18, 2009