Plans to open a sexual health and contraception clinic in the city centre have been approved at a cost of £1.6million.
The new clinic which covers Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland will be situated on the first floor of the Haymarket Shopping Centre.
The clinic is currently based at St Peter’s health centre, in Highfields and has 28,000 visits a year. It will move to a larger, more accessible unit at the Haymarket.
The council currently runs the service at an annual cost of £702,000 per annum. It hopes to cut costs by relocating the clinic, resulting in long-term savings to the council’s revenue budget.
Sexual health services are commissioned by councils as part of their public health remit. Deputy city mayor Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on public health for Leicester, said:
“This is the next stage in our plans to invest in Leicester’s sexual health and contraception services and make them more accessible.”
“In other parts of the country, these services have moved to similar city centre locations with much success.”
“We will now start planning work on how the new premises will look, and will work with young people and other service users to help develop more detailed designs.”
“We’re also considering whether the premises could offer access to other public health services, such as stopping smoking or healthy eating advice – but these are just ideas at the moment.”
The £1.6m has been approved from the council’s capital programme. It plans to convert the former shop unit into a modern, bright and welcoming base, meeting clinical standards. Plans have been drawn up to include up to 10 consulting rooms for staff to see patients.
The council believes the new city centre location will be convenient for people to access with better public transport links and parking nearby.
Detailed plans for the new premises will now be drawn up, with initial building work expected to start in the summer.