North Tyneside’s teenage pregnancy rates are the lowest in the region for the third year running, according to the latest figures.
Data from The Office of National Statistics reveals that teenage pregnancies in North Tyneside have fallen year-on-year since 1998.
The lowest in the region, there was an average of 15.4 pregnancies for every 1,000 girls aged under 18 in North Tyneside in 2016 – compared to 58.4 per 1,000 in 1998.
North Tyneside Council credits partnership working and youth-friendly services for its success.
Wendy Burke, the local authority’s Director of Public Health said: “We are delighted that our progress in reducing teenage pregnancy rates has resulted in North Tyneside having the lowest rate in the North East, and the reduction has been so significant that the borough is below the national average.
“At the heart of our success has been our partnership working with the NHS which has ensured the sexual health service, One to One, is accessible, flexible and youth-friendly.
“As well as a central hub, we have a network of drop-in clinics in the borough, in a variety of settings, which offer sexual health and contraception advice from trained, committed and friendly staff.
“There is also high-quality sex and relationship education within our schools, supported by school nurses, with some even providing a dedicated sexual health service within the school building. Our School Improvement service also helps to support this work and it has been successfully incorporated into the school curriculum.
“We will continue to work hard and build on the excellent progress that has already been made.”
The One to One service is delivered by the local NHS through a ‘hub and spoke’ model. The hub is the centrally-located clinic, which has been given the ‘You’re Welcome’ accreditation for being young person-friendly.
As part of the service, there is also a network of drop-in clinics that offer access to sexual health advice, including contraception, from trained staff, at Monday to Saturday. These are based in a variety of settings, including alongside health services and in community venues where need is greatest.
There is also a young parent midwife who works with all parents under the age of 20, offering a wide range of additional support.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust delivers integrated sexual health services in North Tyneside and Northumberland.
Sexual health consultant Dr Babiker Elawad from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our aim is for young people to feel comfortable accessing our services and to know where they can get advice, support and reliable contraception from local sexual health services, GPs and community pharmacies.
“We work closely with the local authority, the voluntary sector, schools and other healthcare providers to make services available at times and locations that suit young people.”
To ensure everyone has access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information and details of local services, a sexual health app has been developed for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. To find out more about the sexual health service or to download the app visit https://www.northumbria.nhs.uk/sexual-health.