40% fall in Burnley teen pregnancies

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TEENAGE pregnancy rates in Burnley have almost halved, according to latest figures.

The town saw a 40.4% fall in the number of teenage pregnancies between 1998 and 2011.

Health bosses have attributed the reduction to the work of Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Contraception and Sexual Health Service. Staff have been working with young people to provide education and information around teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and risk taking behaviour.

Mr Gareth Beck, community sexual health development lead at the Trust, said: “The fact we have been able to talk to young people about aspects of sexual health such as teenage pregnancy has allowed the service to gain some real localised knowledge which has in turn informed the way we go about getting the facts out there about sexual health. This information has enabled us to deliver targeted educational sessions to young people and meet their needs in terms of factual information.

“The reduction in teenage pregnancy rates shows young people are taking the education and information that is out there on board when it comes to making choices and decisions in relation to contraception which is great for the sexual health and wellbeing of the local population.”

Last year a new brand was developed for the service and it now has a new website, a QR code for smartphone users and a post code finder helping people to locate the closest clinic.

Sue Capstick, clinical business manager for sexual health at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, added: “It’s vital people have the information, confidence and access to quality services to seek appropriate care and make choices that are right for them. This in turn helps people to develop positive relationships and enables them to protect themselves and their partners from infections and unintended pregnancy.

“We believe the new website and distinctive branding will improve access to our services for all people regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity. It will also provide accurate information for people to access.”