New ’one-stop shop’ for sexual health services in east Dorset
Sexual health services for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has been brought together in brand new facilities this week, giving people all the help and support they need under one roof.
From Thursday (1 October), Sexual Health Dorset will be based at 66-68 Palmerston Road, Boscombe – including the Genito-Urinary Medicine and HIV services formerly delivered at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH).
This will be the main sexual health hub for the east of Dorset, complementing a similar hub for the west of the county, established next to Weymouth Hospital in Melcombe Avenue late last year (Sexual Health Dorset @ Weymouth).
The new east hub (Sexual Health Dorset @ Bournemouth) – based at the former Boscombe and Springbourne Health Centre – will be run by Dorset HealthCare, relocating teams from RBH and the former sexual health clinic at The Junction in Holdenhurst Road.
Specialist staff will be on hand to provide confidential advice and information, pregnancy testing, contraception, sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening and treatment, and much more.
The building has been recently renovated to host all the latest facilities, and will run with early and late openings on certain days of the week. The hub fully meets the COVID Secure requirements to enable services to run throughout the pandemic, though there will be a reduced number of clinics at any one time to comply with social distancing rules.
Previously run in partnership with the acute hospitals in Bournemouth and Dorchester, Public Health Dorset and NHS England commissioned Dorset HealthCare to take sole charge of the county’s sexual health services earlier this year.
Sexual Health Dorset Manager Rebecca Jones said: “Previously, people had to travel to different venues depending on the service they required. The new hub in Bournemouth brings everything together in one location, which means people can access whatever support they need from one place, ideally within one appointment.
“The building has been completely refurbished. It will help us provide a more modern, welcoming and all-purpose service to local people, whatever their need. ”
Sexual Health Dorset also provides a range of specialist complementary services including early medical terminations and psychosexual medicine, alongside services to support priority and vulnerable groups including Targeted Outreach (young people aged 13-17), Dorset Working Women’s Project (sex workers) and Over The Rainbow (the LGBTQ+ community).
As well as the two central hubs in Bournemouth and Weymouth, satellite clinics in Blandford, Bridport, Poole and Portland will still be available, providing access to support in other areas of the county.
Full details of all services and how to access them are available at sexualhealthdorset.org