St Helens has seen a massive reduction in the numbers of teenagers becoming pregnant.
Annual rates published recently by the Office of National Statistics, show St Helens having the lowest number of under 18’s conceptions since recording these figures began. In the last eight years there has been a 70 per cent decrease, from a reported 216 conceptions in 2008 to 65 in 2016.
The latest released data shows the gap between St Helens and the England and North West averages significantly narrowing. The current rate of conceptions is converted to an annual rolling rate of 22.6 per 1,000 15-17 year old females, which is the same as the North West average, better than the Merseyside rate of 25.1 and closer to the England average of 18.8. In 2015, St Helens annual rate was 29.6.
Sue Forster, Director for Public Health in St Helens, commented: “Teenage pregnancy rates have been on the decline over the past 10 years and although nationally there have been reductions, this is not coincidental in St Helens.
“The ongoing reduction is attributable to the tireless work of our dedicated services to ensure that teenagers are provided with good quality and effective education about relationships and sexual health issues.”
The TAZ Outreach Team delivers a range of services to schools, colleges, residential and other venues and supports young people to make positive choices about their relationships to delay the onset of sexual activity and increase resilience and self-esteem to improve their overall wellbeing.
St Helens is also one of few local areas that delivers a six-days-a-week clinic service making confidential advice, information and access to contraception services highly accessible. The TAZ clinic is run jointly with the TAZ Outreach Team and St Helens and Knowsley Hospital Trust at the Millennium Centre.
Sue added: “We want to make sure that young people have continued access to these services and a recent scrutiny review highlighted the excellent partnership work being undertaken across the borough to address these issues.
“The latest teenage conception rates are an indication of the ongoing commitment we have to improving young people’s health and wellbeing and the access that they have to excellent young people friendly services.”
For more information on the TAZ Outreach Team, visit www.tazsh.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org