A family planning clinic in the heart of New Addington looks unlikely to reopen – despite the area having among the highest teenage pregnancy rates in London.
The two-hour-per-week service at the Parkway Health Centre closed when its doctor, who had been running it since the 1970s, retired last May.
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust said this week that talks are ongoing regarding the future of the service. However, the Advertiser understands these are unlikely to result in it reopening.
The trust says there are “a number of accessible family planning options” in the area, including GPs, pharmacies and an at-home service, and New Addington residents are already using a clinic in Croydon.
Kathy Wocial, associate director of operations of the trust’s Family Services Directorate, said: “Without the necessary qualified staff currently in place to deliver it, the service has been suspended while we work with Croydon Council to decide the best way to continue to provide high quality family planning services to the area.”
But Sally Rivers, who runs the youth centre at the independent Timebridge Centre in Fieldway, said the decision was “making a rod for our own backs” and could have serious consequences. She said: “I know a lot of young people in the community have gone there for things like the morning-after pill and some advice. We had a really bad time at one point up here where there were so many young teenage pregnancies. To have something like that happen again is quite a concern.”
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