CLINICS which offer emergency contraception and HIV preventative drugs in some of the most deprived areas have been shut down due to staff shortages.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it had been forced to “temporarily” close three sexual health services in Drumchapel, Pollok and Castlemilk and was unable to say when they would re-open.

The service in Vale of Leven has been forced to restrict their opening hours and services in Clydebank are also affected by temporary 24-hour closures.

The health board said “every effort” was being made to address staffing issues at the clinics - it is not clear which staff are in short supply - and said patients were being offered appointment at other clinics including the main centre at Charing Cross.

The clinics also offer reproductive advice, appointments for women seeking terminations and counselling.

Read more: Staff shortages and violence leaves ambulance workers ‘at breaking point’

Figures released last week show the number of cases of syphilis recorded in Scotland has reached a 15-year high.

The Health Protection Scotland (HPS) data found the rise was part of a general increase in all sexually transmitted infections (STIs) last year.

There were 455 diagnoses of syphilis - which can spread to the brain if left untreated - a rise of 14 per cent in a year.

A spokeswoman for the health board said: “Unfortunately, due to staffing issues we have had to temporarily close Sandyford clinics and don’t yet have a date for their re-opening.

“Every effort is being made to address the staffing issues and in the meantime, patients are being offered appointments at our other clinics."