UNWANTED pregnancy rates could rise in Didcot after the sexual health clinic moves out the town centre today, health workers and residents have warned.
Didcot’s family planning clinic is set to move from Didcot Health Centre in Britwell Road to Oak Tree Health Centre in the Ladygrove estate’s Tyne Avenue tomorrow.
Residents and staff have raised concerns teenagers and young people who cannot access the new centre will not get the contraceptives they need.
A staff member, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “I am really worried.
“In the grand scheme of things we could have a lot of teenage pregnancies around Didcot.
“It is like going back to the dark ages.
“The new centre is just not central.
“Where we are at the moment is between Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School, and the girls in particular can come out of school and come straight to us.”
Another staff member added: “I don’t know if teenagers will be able to get there. There is also plenty of clinical space here but that is not the case at Oak Tree.”
They also warned teenagers and young people with jobs will not be able to make the new afternoon rather than evening sessions. The drop-in clinics at Didcot Health Centre ran on Mondays from 4-pm and on Thursdays from 6-8pm. But at Oak Tree they will run on Tuesdays from 3.3-5.30pm and on Thursdays from 2.30-5.30pm.
Currently around 40 people use each two-hour clinic.
The changes have come after Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH) won the contract to provide sexual health services from April 1, which was held by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Crossville Crescent resident Judith Donelan, 65, said: “People won’t know where to go if they get into trouble.
“It is in such a central position and everyone knows it but Oak Tree won’t be as easy to find.”