A pioneering device which offers young people sexual health advice and support is to be introduced at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Peasedown Youth Hub.
The Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to install a Medi-Vend machine at the Youth Hub to help protect young people from sexuality transmitted diseases, reduce teenage pregnancy and provide safety information about drugs and alcohol.
The Medi-Vend machine can dispense condoms and Chlamydia testing kits through NHS Bath and North East Somerset’s C-Card scheme, as well providing sexual health advice and contact details for other useful agencies via an information screen.
The move complements an existing Medi-Vend at the Southside Youth Hub, in Bath, and the Council hopes to roll out more of the machines around Bath and North East Somerset wherever a need is identified.
Councillor Nathan Hartley (Lib-Dem, Peasedown), Deputy Leader of Council and Cabinet Member for Early Years, Children and Youth, said: “By installing a Medi-Vend in Peasedown Youth Hub, Bath & North East Somerset Council is not only showing that we care about young people’s health and the choices they make in life, but also that we continue to move forward in a pioneering fashion as there are very few of these devices in the country.
“Further Medi-Vend machines may be installed around the district in locations wherever a need is identified in agreement with the Council’s senior Children’s Service and Youth Service Managers.”
The Medi-Vend machine will complement the services already provided at the Council’s Peasedown Youth Hub – such as the C-Card scheme which offers sexual health advice, free contraception and professional support from qualified staff.
Councillor Simon Allen (Lib-Dem, Radstock), Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “The Medi-Vend is a tool for enabling young people to access safe confidential sexual health services – offering good quality information and advice leading to the improvement of sexual health among young people, and a reduction in teenage pregnancy and abortion rates. This is just one of the many steps that Bath & North East Somerset Council is taking to improve the life chances of children and young people.”
The Medi-Vend machine, which is expected to be installed in the next month, is being supplied and maintained by NHS Bath and North East Somerset, with electricity and internet access being covered by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Youth Service as part of the general running costs for Peasedown Youth Hub.