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Castleford sexual heath clinic for teenagers will remain open

Castleford Health Centre
Castleford Health Centre

Plans to close a teenage sexual health clinic have been scrapped after an outcry from patients.

Wakefield Council was considering shutting down the service, which runs at Castleford Health Centre, to save money.

The clinic, which is open to people under the age of 20, offers testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as support on issues like pregnancy and contraception.

Health bosses had discussed the possibility of moving the service, which runs on Mondays and Tuesdays, to individual GP surgeries. Patients would also have been directed to similar clinics in Pontefract and Wakefield.

But a consultation of people who’d used the service over the last year found strong opposition to the move and as a result the plans have now been shelved.

Anna Hartley, Wakefield Council’s interim director of public health, said: “Following feedback from users of the service, the sexual health clinic running from Castleford Health Centre will remain open.

“The consultation, held at the end of January, showed that some people would be unable to travel to another clinic and that they would like to access local services in Castleford. Therefore, the decision has been made to keep the service running from the centre.”

When the proposals were discussed at a public meeting in February, concerns were raised by a local doctor that the closure would affect “vulnerable women” in Castleford and teenage pregnancy numbers could rise as a result.

Ward councillor Tony Wallis said the decision to keep the clinic open was “good news”.

He said: “Castleford is a well populated town and to my mind this is an important service for the area.

“I’m very pleased it’s staying open as it’s clearly needed.

“It just goes to show the power of a public consultation and it’s good to know that people are being heard.”

Anyone wanting to contact the sexual health services can call 0800 1214860.

David Spereall , Local Democracy Reporting Service