Teenage pregnancies in Hull continues to hit all-time low

The rate of teenage pregnancies in Hull has continued to hit an all-time low, according to new government figures released today.

Pregnancies in girls aged under 18 in Hull have fallen to levels not seen since 1969. The official release issued by the Office of National Statistics of data on the 2016 conception figures for women aged from 15 to 17 shows a further decrease in the rate of under-18 conceptions from 38.5 conceptions per 1,000 young women under 18 in 2015 to 30.6 per 1,000 in 2016.

Overall conception rates have reduced by 63.8 per cent in Hull since the teenage pregnancy strategy began in 1998.

The success in reducing teenage pregnancies in Hull is a result of early intervention and support for young people and their families. It is also due to effective partnership working between organisations such as the local authority, schools, health and the voluntary sector. Agencies have worked together to ensure young people have the knowledge and skills to make informed choices about their sexual health, have happy healthy relationships and have access to quality young people-friendly services when they need them.

Reasons given for the drop include better relationship and sex education, improved access to contraception though the development of young people-specific sexual health services in, improved targeted work with vulnerable young people, increase in prevention work with boys and young men, improved training for staff in young people’s services, for example youth workers, social workers and improved support, to give appropriate messages and support. For those who do become teenage parents there is also support to reduce repeat conceptions and improve accesses to education and employment.
Reducing under-18 conceptions reduces factors including poor educational achievement, poor physical and mental health, social isolation and poverty.

Alison Murphy, Director of Children, Young People and Family Services, said: “This is good news for the city. The fall in teenage pregnancies had been the result of better education and support for young people.

She added: “Hull City Council and its partners are continuing to ensure that the right level of early help and support services are available for young people through strong partnership work between health, education, social care, voluntary and youth services.”

Gail Teasdale, Integrated Services Manager for children and young people’s health, who has lead on the strategy since 2001, said: “We are pleased that the downward trend in Hull has continued. This reduction is thanks to the hard work of staff who work with young people across the city including schools, youth services, VCS and health, and the legacy of the teenage pregnancy strategy which began in 1998.
“We will continue to work to ensure there are improved health outcomes for children and young people by empowering them to be able to make informed choices about their health, resist peer pressure to have sex at a young age and have happy and health relationships once they are ready.”

Hull is also featured in the Local Government Association report on best practice in the country in relation to teenage pregnancy, which was released today. It showcases progress and success through the work of Cornerhouse.

Tish Lamb, CEO of Cornerhouse, said: “Cornerhouse is really proud to be work in partnership with Hull City Council and health colleagues to continue to support the continued reduction in teenage conception rates. Our ethos is to deliver services to young people wherever they are, be that in school or college, on the street, online or at one of our many drop-ins. We are available at a time and place to suit them should they need support with their sexual health, wellbeing and relationships.”