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Summary

Background papers: children :: Teenage pregnancy :: Summary

Introduction

Reducing conceptions of young people aged under 18 (under-18 conceptions) has been a long standing national and local priority and is a key indicator in the Public Health Outcomes Framework.[1] Most teenage pregnancies are unplanned and approximately half end in a termination.[2] For many teenagers, bringing up a child can be very difficult and challenging, impacting on outcomes for both the parent and child in terms of the baby's health, the emotional well-being of the mother and the long term likelihood of the child living in poverty.[3]

Considerable work has been undertaken locally over the last year to improve the provision of high quality relationship and sex education which is considered key in reducing the number of teenage conceptions. This is a broader and more equitable offer to schools that provides a range of projects enabling children and young people to receive information and support on a range of health and wellbeing issues. Work has been undertaken with the PSHE Association to ensure all schools-based resources/projects and training are in line with best practice principles and provide children and young people with the necessary knowledge and skills to make informed choices about their health and wellbeing.

Key Issues and Gaps


• Medway has a high teenage conception rate; whilst there has been a reduction it still remains higher than England and the South East.
• Not all Medway schools are engaged in Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). It is an ambition to engage the remaining schools to create equitable provision of RSE locally.
• The uptake of long acting reversible contraception (LARC) is low amongst young people and therefore a greater focus needs to be applied to increasing the access and uptake of LARC to young women.

Recommendations for Commissioning


• Commissioned services should aim to increase access to LARC for all women living in Medway.
• An integrated model (GUM and CASH services together) operating through a range of venues, plus outreach and self-managed care to maximise entry points that feed into universal services.
• Work to engage all schools in Medway with PSHE Association quality assured RSE resources
• Continue with Risk Avert programme to engage schools in working with young people identified as being most vulnerable to risk-taking behaviour.
• Develop a dedicated teenage parent's pathway through health visiting.


References

[1]   Department of Health. Public Health Outcomes Framework 2012;
[2]   Department of Health. Sexual Health Improvement Framework 2013; Department of Health. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/142592/9287-2900714-TSO-SexualHealthPolicyNW_ACCESSIBLE.pdf .
[3]   Department for Children, Schools and Families. Teenage Pregnancy: Beyond 2010 2010; Department for Children, Schools and Families.