SOUTHEND’S struggling sexual health clinic was closed by bailiffs, it can be revealed.

Bailiffs went into the clinic in Thamesgate House, Victoria Avenue on October 24, locking the site after the visit.

Southend Hospital has stated it is hoping to secure an order this week from the courts to be allowed access.

The service was launched by Southend Council, Southend Hospital and Provide in April in order to deliver improved sexual health services.

But concerns were raised last month, with reports of a two month wait for appointments.

The service had helped reduce Southend’s teen pregnancy problems - which had previously been high but dropped to 18.6 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 17

Responding to the Echo on Facebook, Lesley Taylor, said: “I don’t know why they closed the Kingsley Ward (previously in Warrior House), it was a necessity and the new system at Thamesgate House has never worked. Ridiculous that some people have had to wait to get an appointment.

Samantha Childs added: “The fact you can’t get an appointment for months surely proves this place needs to be open. Come on Southend Council and the NHS, sort this out.”

Southend Council’s councillor for health and adult social care, Trevor Harp, insisted the council was committed to providing a sexual health service said: “We take the health and wellbeing of our residents very seriously, which is why we are proactively working with our NHS and Provide colleagues so they can continue to provide a sexual health service.

"Hopefully the issues will be resolved very soon and the service can get back to business as usual.

"In the meantime if you have any concerns about your sexual health, please don’t hesitate to contact the Intelligence Centre and they will advise you further.”

Yvonne Blücher, Southend Hospital managing director, said: “Alternative clinic space for patients has already been arranged for the short term. All urgent patients have been contacted and will be seen as usual.

“The service did not run on October 24, but since then a service for urgent patients has been running at Southend Hospital. For this week, the service will run from Clinic 22, at Southend University Hospital, and Southgate House.

“Patients will be called by a clinician and triaged. If patients are urgent they will be offered an appointment at Clinic 22 or Southgate House. We are expecting the court to grant relief this week to enable us to go back into the building.”

Call 03003032693 with concerns.