An expansion programme at Birmingham's biggest sexual health clinic has helped cut waiting times from five weeks to a fortnight in the past year - as the rate of sexually-transmitted infections rises across the city.
The programme means staff at the Whittall Street clinic can offer more clinics and have longer opening times, which will help them achieve their target of getting patients appointments within two days by 2008.
People needing sexual health checks had to wait for about 25 working days last year, and that has already been cut to an average of 11 days now.
The clinic employs 70 staff and last year treated about 22,000 cases with diagnoses ranging from chlamydia to HIV.
Heart of Birmingham PCT chairman Ranjit Sondhi, said: "Poor sexual health and the level of STIs in the city are moving towards epidemic proportions. This expansion will go to help us to further reverse this trend, but the biggest impact we can have is by changing people's attitudes and behaviour."
Cases of syphilis recorded in the West Midlands have increased from two in 1996 to 237 cases last year, while cases of gonorrhoea have almost doubled since 1996, from 1,294 to 2,532 last year. But incidences of chlamydia have trebled during the same period, from 2,560 to 7,643.'