NHS to continue tackling teenage pregnancy rates

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THE NHS says it will continue to tackle teenage pregnancy rates after national figures highlighted a decrease across Hampshire since 1998.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics highlight a steady reduction in teenage conception rates across the area.

The statistics show the number of under-18s conceiving in Portsmouth in 2010 dropped by 24 per cent from the rate in 1998. From 57 out of every 1,000 it fell to 43.3 on average 0out of every 1,000.

The overall rate in Hampshire saw a drop of 29.8 per cent from 1998, from 35.9 to 25.2 out of every 1,000 15 to 17-year-olds.

The national average was a 24 per cent drop.

Dr Andrew Mortimore, of NHS Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth PCT cluster, said he was ‘encouraged’ to see a decrease in teen pregnancies through strategies implemented by local councils and the NHS.

He said: ‘However, while the latest rates are encouraging we cannot be complacent as we have a long way to go to reduce them further and help young people to avoid an unplanned pregnancies.

‘Understanding the issues faced by young people and providing advice and support in a way that they will use is crucial.

‘All of our work has a strong emphasis on ensuring the services and support provided for young people is led by specially trained workers who are able to discuss relationships and signpost young people to local services that are appropriate for them.’