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Actions to address teen conception across the county provide encouraging results

Published on Monday, 10th December 2018

Incidences of teen pregnancy have seen a significant decline since the introduction of pro-active initiatives.

In 2016 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) highlighted that the rate of teenage conceptions for those under 18 years of age in Nuneaton and Bedworth was above the national average for England and Wales for 2014*.

In light of this, a multiagency teen conception summit was held on November 24 2016 to identify the reasons for the rise and agree an action plan for the future.

Emerging from the summit was a commitment from numerous agencies across Warwickshire to work collaboratively to reduce the level of teen conception and also make individual, organisational pledges. A focus group called the ‘Addressing Teen Conception’ Group was established to take an action plan forward which has met quarterly since early 2017. The local action plan focuses on four key areas:

  • Service Development
  • Partnership Working
  • Education
  • Supporting Young People

Members of this group come from a broad range of voluntary and statutory partners including charities, health services and community groups working in collaboration with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council to provide advice and support to vulnerable individuals.

The group has delivered several successful projects which include:

  • Ongoing funding to support the Health Store in Hatters Space, Nuneaton, which provides free, confidential drop in sessions for contraception, sexual health screening and pregnancy testing.
  • An increase in pharmacies being trained to provide emergency hormonal contraceptive advice, an increase to 21 pharmacies in the area providing this service.
  • The introduction of a Condom Distribution Scheme (C-Card), initially funded for one year - has now been extended until March 2019 and is in the process of being reviewed
  • Teen conception rates have seen a significant decline since 2014, where the ONS reported that the Borough had an under 18 teen conception rate of 43.0 per 1,000 (women in this age category). In 2016, the ONS reported that this rate had reduced to 29.8 per 1,000 (women in this age category) in 2016.

Councillor Barry Longden, Portfolio Holder for Housing, Health and Communities said:

“Since the start of the group, several pro-active initiatives have been put in place, all of which have been delivered and the incidences of teen pregnancy have seen a significant decline, which means that the hard work is now paying off.

“There is a marked improvement on previous years and we are putting strategies in place to look at ways to further reduce these numbers in the future.”

Public Health England (PHE) have commended the work taking place in Northern Warwickshire to address the issue of teen conception and moving forward the Council have also conducted a self-assessment advocated by PHE in order to identify areas of focus for 2019 onwards.

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*There figures are always released in arrears