"Pregnant" UCL medical students to protest closure of London sexual health centre today
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A group of UCL Medical School students is set to protest the closure of a north London sexual health centre outside Islington Town Hall this evening. The students, who will be donning “pregnant” bellies to demonstrate their need for easy access to contraception, will be presenting their 6,000+ signature strong petition to Islington Council at 6.45pm today. The Margaret Pyke Centre - an ‘outstanding’ sexual health clinic and centre of excellence in research and training - is slated for closure. The centre, near King’s Cross, sees 400 patients (96% women) per week, and offers services including contraception, smear tests, pregnancy and STI tests, psychosexual counselling and abortion referral and advice. It also runs training programmes in contraception and sexual and reproductive health care, as part of University College London’s Institute for Women's Health. In February 2015 the Care Quality Commission described it as an ‘outstanding’ service. The petition, which has just over 6,200 signatures, is calling on Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust to “to prioritise women's needs and keep the Margaret Pyke Centre open.”
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