Be sexually aware at the Spiro Clinic
Wednesday 17th December, 2008
Young people can now visit a new walk in clinic in Pulborough to discuss sexual health and contraceptive needs. The Spiro Clinic is a one stop facility run from Pulborough Medical Group every Thursday from 3:00-6:00pm.
The Spiro Clinic, which has been launched as a pilot in the county, offers people of all ages the chance to access contraception and reproductive health advice (family planning), sexually transmitted infection screening and treatment, Chlamydia screening and ongoing contraception support.
It has been set up by West Sussex Primary Care Trust having identified a need for such service in the region.
Dr Amelia Bolgar helped set up and now runs the clinic. She said, “Unintended pregnancies continue to rise across the country; the total cost to the NHS in 2004 for unintended pregnancies was more than £460 million (including terminations, live births and miscarriages). In addition, the number of cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) also continues to rise, especially cases of Chlamydia. This clearly shows an increase in demand and the need for sexual health services.
“Pulborough is a rural area, with poor access and transport links to current sexual health clinics. There is a large college campus 2 miles away and a secondary school 5 miles away. This means there could be dozens of young people who would welcome this kind of sexual health service. The Spiro Clinic is in a good location for these young people. Pulborough has good transport links to the college and schools, and to neighbouring villages.”
The main aims of the Spiro Clinic are to:
• Improve detection and treatment of STIs
• Increase provision of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC)
• Improve access to emergency contraception
• Improve uptake of Chlamydia screening
• Reduce the number of unintended and teenage pregnancies
Patients who are registered at Pulborough Medical Group or any neighbouring GP surgery are welcome to book appointments at the clinic; alternatively appointments can be booked on the day by simply walking into the clinic.
Dr Bolgar continued, “The purpose of the clinic is to improve patient care by being able to discuss sexual health and contraceptive needs within the same consultation; something there is not often enough time in general practice consultations to do. Until now, family planning clinics have not tended to address screening or management of STIs and, similarly, GU clinics have not had the resources to address patient's current and ongoing contraceptive needs.
“The classic example is the girl who comes in asking for a pregnancy test as she is concerned she may have an unplanned pregnancy. It is clear from her request that she firstly does not have current contraception, second is sexually active and finally is at risk of a STI as she has had unprotected sex. At the Spiro clinic she will be able to have a pregnancy test, be counselled for a termination if required, have ongoing contraception prescribed/fitted and have screening and treatment for STIs - all within the same consultation.
“It is important that all young people have the right information about sexual health issues. I would encourage anyone who would like some advice or the opportunity to discuss their needs to come to the clinic.”