A brand-new home for sexual, reproductive and emotional health services in the East End of Glasgow has been officially opened by Health Minister Andy Kerr.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's purpose-built Sandyford East represents a £1.2 million investment in healthcare for the East End of the city, and will for the first time offer a number of services to local people without having to travel to the city centre. The second in a planned series of "hubs" from the city-centre Sandyford Initiative, Sandyford East provides a full range of care and support for sexually transmitted infections as part of a wide range of groundbreaking services, including counselling, free internet access and a library.
Health Minister Andy Kerr said: "Improving Scotland's poor sexual health record is a priority for us. We want everyone regardless of where they live to have access to local sexual health services and the new Sandyford East hub is exactly the sort of approach we have envisaged for services across Scotland. We have committed £15 million to change the way services are delivered - to ensure clinics are open at appropriate times, can be accessed locally and provide the services patients want.
"Sandyford East brings together a range of services under one roof such as family planning, testing for STIs and support and advice on sexual health. Access to services will be quicker and easier which is great news for people living in the East End of Glasgow."
Clinical Director of the Sandyford Initiative Dr Alison Bigrigg said: "Sandyford East is an expansion of sexual, reproductive and emotional healthcare for people who live in the East End and we're very proud to be bringing the services that we offer at the Sandyford to Parkhead.
"It means free, confidential, walk-in sexual health services for men, women and young people are now available four days a week in the East End. Sandyford East is in the heart of the East End, in premises next to Parkhead Health Centre and by the Forge Shopping Centre. Sandyford's proud to offer the highest quality sexual and reproductive health care in brand-new, state of the art premises."
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chairman Professor Sir John Arbuthnott said: "Making the best quality sexual and reproductive healthcare available to people of all ages in the heart of their local communities is vital, and that is exactly what is happening here at Sandyford East."
Access to information is a vital part of Sandyford East. Free internet access is available, as is a library service, linked with Glasgow City Council libraries, providing books and leaflets on all aspects of health. All services are free, confidential and provided in a relaxed and sensitive environment.
Sandyford East is the second in a planned series of "hubs" of the Sandyford Initiative, a network of satellite clinics serving local communities throughout NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. For several years, the majority of the locally-based clinics have specialised in reproductive care for women. Until the opening of Sandyford Southeast in Govanhill last year, there was very little for men or young people outside the city centre.
Today's official opening of Sandyford East is part of an effort to ensure the Sandyford's care is available to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Dedicated clinics for women, men and young people will be available for local people on both a scheduled and drop-in basis. Free condoms and lubricant, contraception, emergency contraception and pregnancy testing are offered at Sandyford East. Scans, gynaecology and a number of other specialist clinical services will also be provided.