Teenage Pregnancy

Services that aim to prevent and reduce under 18 conceptions

Increasing access to contraception and sexual health services

Brook and Terence Higgins Trust Contraceptive and Sexual Health Services

Young person friendly Contraceptive and Sexual Health Services are offered in a range of settings, including schools and hostels. Young people are able to receive guidance on relationships and sexual health, including contraception, with a focus on raising self-esteem and making positive choices. Sexual Health services also provide an outreach nurse who is able to offer contraception advice and fitting to young people, in particular those identified as vulnerable. Clinics operate from a number of bases across Central Bedfordshire. Drop-in clinics also run in the majority of upper schools (including all those in ‘high rate wards’) on a regular, weekly basis.

Sexual Health Website

A sexual health website was launched across Bedfordshire in July 2014. The website has been developed for all ages to ensure that there is one point of contact for up to date information on local sexual health services, including: Sphere Clinics (delivered by a number of GP practices), sexual health clinics (Genito Urinary Medicine, GUM), pharmacies and outreach workers within the local community.

There is a clinic finder function on the website that provides up to date details of clinic days and times throughout the week.  Other features include information on contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, sexual dysfunction, pregnancy and sexual assault.

Condom Card Scheme

The local authority commissions the current sexual health provider to offer a free condom scheme. This scheme supports young people under the age of 25 to easily access free condoms in a variety of settings across Bedford Borough.  Young people can register for the scheme at any sexual health clinic and at other registration sites in Bedford Borough.


Targeted Support for Vulnerable Young People 

Brook Healthy Relationships Programme

Brook delivers targeted one to one and small group work with young people who are identified as being particularly vulnerable. This work aims to help young people build resilience and achieve positive relationships whilst avoiding risk taking behaviours. Young people targeted include looked after children (LAC), young people not in employment, education or training (NEET) and youth offenders. In addition to this, year 11 girls in the higher rate wards have been targeted for specific intervention. This is a result of local hospital booking data showing an increase in continued pregnancies in some wards very soon after the girls have left school. This programme has been planned locally based upon real time data and aims to improve the aspirations of young girls who have been evaluated as at risk.

Aspire Programme

The Aspire Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Programme is a school based intervention involving group work for vulnerable children aged 10-14 years in Central Bedfordshire. The programme lasts 14 weeks with a 12 month tracking period during which children are able to stay in contact with their coach. The programme has a sustained positive impact on participants’ self-reported health and wellbeing outcomes including raised self-esteem and confidence. For the financial year 2015/16 Public Health commissioned nine programmes consisting of 18 courses (each course has 20 places for 10 girls and 10 boys). There were three courses carried over from the previous year giving a total of 21 courses (10.5 programmes) to be delivered in the financial year 2015/16.

Reducing repeat conceptions in the under 18s 

Local referral pathways are in place between the sexual health service provider and the maternity departments at both Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable Hospital. Through the support pathway for teenage parents, all under 20s who continue with their pregnancy are supported in the antenatal period to consider their contraception options and arrange contraception post birth. This support is provided by the outreach nurse and the teenage pregnancy midwives.

Improving access to good quality Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) and Sex and relationship educations (SRE)

In response to the findings of the SRE needs analysis conducted within TP higher rate wards middle and upper Schools, a PSHE network was launched in January 2015. This network is underpinned by a strategic group to ensure shared ownership and coordination of the network across Children’s Services, the Community Safety Partnership and Public Health, with public health being responsible for the day to day coordination of the network. The network provides a joined up and coordinated approach to working with schools, tackling the key issues which fall within the PSHE/SRE agenda such as:

  • Protective behaviours
  • Online safety
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Mental health and counselling
  • Teenage pregnancy reduction 
  • Domestic abuse
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Healthy relationships

The network provides:

  • Regular updates for schools (lower, middle and upper) on what support is available locally
  • Evidence-based resources and lesson plans
  • A forum for highlighting emerging trends and using a partnership approach to tackle them
  • Joint commissioning across Directorates if and where gaps may be identified
  • Quality of delivery
  • The avoidance of multiple contacts being made to schools from different organisations and streamlined contact through a coordinated approach

School Nursing Service

Each school within Central Bedfordshire has a named school nurse. School nurses hold weekly drop in clinics within all middle, upper and secondary schools. School nurses offer emotional wellbeing support, contraception and sexual health testing and advice. Plans are also in place to enable school nurses to prescribe emergency hormonal contraception.

Sexual Health Services Re-procurement

Sexual health services are currently under the process of re-procurement. The re-procured services will commence from November 2016. The integrated service will continue to focus on young people and vulnerable groups.

Last updated Tuesday, 18th October 2016