Halstead: Town's family planning clinic will stay, insist health chiefs

Halstead Gazette: Halstead: Town's family planning clinic will stay, insist health chiefs Halstead: Town's family planning clinic will stay, insist health chiefs

Controversial L plans to close the family planning clinic at Halstead Hospital and move services 13 miles to Colchester have been scrapped – but services could still be reduced.

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust had consulted with affected staff over the proposals but did not publish the document publicly.

Dr Alan Symington, a retired former GP at Halstead’s Elizabeth Courtauld Surgery, and Dr Irene Bainbridge, an associate specialist at Halstead Hospital, both expressed concerns about the plans.

Dr Bainbridge, who has worked in the Halstead clinic for more than 25 years, described moving services to Colchester as “a seriously retrograde step” and “quite unacceptable”.

A Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: “The trust was consulting staff on proposals to either move sexual health and contraception services from Halstead Hospital or to reduce the frequency of the clinics.

“The feedback from the consultation, which ended on November 29, has been very positive and shows that there is a need for the service at Halstead.

“We have listened to staff and want to reassure residents and health care staff in the Halstead area that the service will not be moved, but the frequency of the clinics will be reviewed.”

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