TEENAGE pregnancy rates in Redditch have fallen to the lowest levels since records began.
The number of 15 to 17-year-old girls falling pregnant has dropped to an all time low of 48 for 2013. This is the lowest since the figures were first recorded by the Office for National Statics in 1998.
It means more than 28 young women per 1,000 have conceived in the year – seven fewer than the previous year.
But the number of women choosing to have abortions has increased from nearly 38 per cent in 2012 to close to 48 per cent.
Across the county, a total of 250 teenagers found out they were pregnant, with neighbouring Bromsgrove recording 30 conceptions and Worcester 57.
Marcus Hart, responsible for Health and Well-being on Worcestershire County Council, said in many ways teenage pregnancy was one of the success stories of the last decade in the public health field, with teenage conceptions across the county being amongst the lowest for a number of years.
He added high quality sex and relationship education in schools and having accessible and effective contraception were factors behind the drop, while targeting vulnerable young people was also key.
“Worcestershire County Council are responsible for commissioning young persons sexual health services which are regularly reviewed to ensure they are in the right place, open at the right time, well publicised and trusted by young people in the area.” he said.
“ We also commission the highly regarded Time 4 U service specifically for young people which is provided in a variety of settings such as schools, colleges and health centres as well as outreach. The council also commissions a number of larger sexual health and contraception clinics across the county that can be accessed by all ages.”
He added NHS England were currently developing a new Family Nurse Partnership programme for the county which will start in July.
The scheme will include a home visiting programme for first time young mums and dads, aged 19 or under, where a specially trained family nurse will visit young parents regularly, from early in pregnancy
until their child is two.