Teen pregnancy rates fall faster than UK average
TEENAGE pregnancy rates in Bristol are falling more than twice as fast as the UK average, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics.
Pregnancies in girls aged under 18 fell by 21 per cent in the city in 2011, while nationally the rate fell by 10 per cent. And early indications show that this trend will continue through 2012.
Bristol City Council cabinet member Barbara Janke put the sharp fall down to coordinated work funded by Bristol City Council and NHS Bristol. The work includes initiatives to support sex and relationship education in schools, development of services such as Brook 4YP, sexual health clinics in secondary schools and programmes to improve teenage resilience to pressure.
Ms Janke, cabinet member for health and connected cities, said: "These are welcome results for Bristol and demonstrate that efforts to reduce teenage pregnancies are now truly embedded across many services. Reducing teenage pregnancies is not as simple as educating young people about contraception. It's about multi-agency work to instil confidence and knowledge to help young people to cope with all kinds pressures and make their own positive choices."
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NHS Bristol teenage pregnancy strategy lead Anne Colquhoun said: "We know there is no easy answer to reducing teenage pregnancy rates but by ensuring that sexual health advice and support services are easily accessible, improving sex education and targeting those most at risk are incredibly important.
"These are the things that we've worked hard to improve over the last few years. It takes time to see results but we're happy to see the trend decline once more."
Orchard School Secondary School headteacher Helen Holman said the "great news" reflected the work being done in schools.