The hours of York’s sexual health services are set to be cut and users could face longer waits for tests as the council looks to make savings.

Reduced opening hours of the city’s sexual health clinics and limits to ordering sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests are planned for later this year following a City of York Council executive decision.

Public health lead Peter Roderick said it came as services nationally face a funding crisis while York spends more on its offering than any council in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Council health executive member Cllr Lucy Steels-Walshaw said York’s approach needed to change as it currently spends almost one quarter of its public health budget on sexual health services.

It comes as councillors approved a one-year extension to its current contract with York and Scarborough Hospitals NHS Trust to provide the city’s YorSexualHealth service.

The extension comes ahead of services being brought into one all-round offer including advice, STI prevention, testing and contraception under what is known as a Section 75 agreement.

But financial challenges and the complexity of the move has meant the changes have had to be delayed for at least six months and potentially up to a year.

Councillors also heard the city’s high student population and people from outside York being able to use it meant demand for services was higher than other places.

The NHS trust has told the council changes to the service will be phased in gradually over the course of the year extension which begins in July.

A public consultation on the proposals is set to run from July and the results would then be reviewed by the trust.

Councillors heard proposals to cut clinic hours aimed to reduce costs particularly around staffing.

Public health director Mr Roderick said the council would look at ways to compensate for the reductions and councillors heard community outreach would be looked at.

He added they would also look at the system for ordering tests which people can currently request for home delivery.

Cllr Steels-Walshaw said sexual education would also be important to try and reduce future demand for services and to keep costs down.

The executive member said: “The reality is that sexual health services across the country are really stretched.”