Cornwall’s under 18 conception rate falls to a record low
Cornwall’s under 18 conception rate has continued to fall and, according to data released today by the Office for National Statistics, is now, for the first time, less than half the baseline set in 1998 when the National Teenage Pregnancy Strategy began.
The data released today shows Cornwall’s annual conception rate to be 18.2 conceptions per 1000 women aged 5-17, a whopping 54.3% decrease from the 1998 baseline of 39.8 per 1000. This means Cornwall has not only exceeded the national target of a 50% reduction in pregnancy rates, but has also outperformed the average reduction achieved across England and Wales of 40%.
The data released also brings Cornwall’s under 18 conception rate below 20 conceptions per 1000 for the first time and see’s Cornwall performing better than the South West average. The full data can be found HERE
Cornwall Council remains committed to reducing the rate of under-18 conceptions and improving outcomes for young parents and their children through the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy and Action plan. Teenage pregnancy is often associated with negative health outcomes for the mother and child and increased likelihood of them both living in long-term poverty. In addition to this, many teenage conceptions are unintended. Around half result in a termination, an avoidable burden for the young women affected.
Evidence shows that the two factors that have the biggest impact on rates are access to young people friendly sexual health services and both formal and informal relationship and sex education, ensuring young people have the skills, knowledge and confidence to make positive choices about their sexual health now and in the future.
In Cornwall young people can access information and support from a wide range of services including the C-Card condom distribution scheme, pharmacies, their GP, Contraceptive and Sexual Health clinics such as Brook or the Sexual Health Hub in Truro. You can find out about all of these services by visiting the Cornwall SHAC website.”
We want to do more to ensure we are effectively sharing key messages around relationships and sexual health with the people of Cornwall. Because of this Cornwall Council are currently working with partners throughout sexual health to launch a new initiative entitled TALK Relationships and Sexual Health (RSH).
The aim of the initiative is to encourage people across Cornwall to TALK about relationships and Sexual Health and access the support and services they need to do this confidently.
You may want to know more about improving your own sexual health, or want support in talking to your own children and young people about relationships, growing up and sexual health, either way TALK relationships is here to help.
To make sure we communicate with you in the best possible way, we need your help. TALK RSH has two surveys, one for young people, one for parents and carers. Both surveys are asking for your views around the best way to offer support and communicate with you. The initiative and surveys will be formally launched in the coming weeks and will be available at www.cornwall.gov.uk/TALKRSH.
This is really fantastic news and shows how organisation working together for a common goal does produce results and shows what can be achieved. You cannot achieve a 50% conception rate reduction without this cooperation and I would like to thank all those individuals and organisations who have made this possible. It is imperative to all people no matter what age or gender to have a positive understanding of sexual health, their bodies and the choices they can make. That is why supporting and enabling good quality, comprehensive relationships and sex education at home and in our schools is a key priority for Cornwall.
A huge thanks goes to all who have worked together to make this happen. You should be very proud.