Latest figures suggest that teenage pregnancy in Wiltshire is at its lowest in more than 15 years.
In 1998 the rate of conceptions in Wiltshire was 32.1 young women in every 1,000 females aged 15-17 years the latest initial data from the Office of National Statistics show that at the end of December 2014, rates in Wiltshire were down to 16.1 per 1,000 women aged 15-17 years – a decrease of almost 50 percent.
This follows a huge amount of work spearheaded by Wiltshire Council through their Teenage Pregnancy Strategy working in partnership with GPs, pharmacies, schools through the PHSE (Personal, Health and Social Education) programme and a host of other providers and organisations to tackle this issue. Reducing Teenage Pregnancy rates has been a key Public Health priority for a number of years and through this partnership approach in delivering services successful outcomes are being achieved.
One of the services available for young people is No Worries, a confidential sexual health service for those aged 13 to 24 which provides a range of advice and services as well as signposting to specialist services. As well as No Worries, there are a number of sexual health clinics in the county and GP surgeries also provide a range of sexual health services.
Wiltshire Council corporate director, Maggie Rae said: “It is pleasing to see the figures move in the right direction, however we are very mindful that this is an issue that we will constantly have to work on and improve.
“Our partnership working is clearly paying off and we will continue to work hard to make sure young women are supported as much as possible to not only help them make the right decisions and reduce the likelihood of them getting pregnant, but also support and be there for them if they do.”
Penny White, a local primary care nurse said: “It is very gratifying to see the reduction in the figures. This can largely be attributed to the organisations who offer easy access appointments in an unthreatening environment. As part of the No Worries scheme we try and make ourselves approachable and do our best to respond quickly to requests from young people for appointments. By acting this way we hopefully make it easier to access contraceptive and sexual health services.
“We must not become complacent and must continue to offer a young person friendly service.”
For more information about No Worries and other support and advice available, people should visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/sexualhealth
The No Worries Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/NoWorriesWiltshire