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Milsom outside smallA two-year project to provide new premises for sexual health services in Cheltenham has reached fruition with the opening of a new purpose-build clinic in the town.

Historically, contraceptive services have been provided at St Paul’s Wing at Cheltenham General Hospital, while genito-urinary medicine has been delivered at Benhall Clinic.

But following a search for, and purchase of, a new site followed by a custom-rebuild to provide the best possible facilities, Gloucester Care Services NHS Trust has opened its new clinic in Milsom Street.

Dr Rona MacDonald, Clinical Director of Sexual Health Services, said “The whole sexual health team is really excited about finally being able to work is this great new clinic. This setting will now allow us to provide fully integrated sexual health care in all our services, which is still not commonly available across England.

“We will be offering management of contraception and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections as well as other common genito-urinary problems. We will also be providing sexual health counselling services for the first time in Cheltenham. We hope this clinic will be an asset to the health and well-being of the people of Cheltenham.”

The new premises, which opened its doors on Monday 8 June, features seven consulting rooms, a laboratory, reception area, staff offices and service user parking.

Paul Jennings, chief executive at the Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide new, improved and dedicated facilities for the people of Cheltenham while freeing space up at the Acute Hospital site for our colleagues there to expand their services.

“The new premises are easy to access on major bus routes and will provide better access for wheelchair users. We can also avoid inconveniencing patients by sending them to different sites, and reduce the administrative costs and difficulties associated with managing a service based on multiple sites.”

The building is also earmarked to be used to provide other community services in the future.