The number of young teens falling pregnant in Peterborough has fallen to what is believed to be the lowest level for 50 years.
Where as once Peterborough’s pregnancy rate for youngsters aged under 16 was well above the national average, latest statistics reveal a substantial drop to put Peterborough in line with national figures.
Between 2008 and 2010 there were 88 conceptions - a rate of 8.5 pregnancies in every 1,000 girls in the age group.
The latest figures - covering 2011 to 2013 - show there were just 56 conceptions, at a rate of 5.5 in every 1,000 - exactly the same as the average for England.
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said he thought the success was down to the work of a number of organisations in the city.
He said: “I think this is the lowest level of teenage pregnancies since the 1960s.
“It is very pleasing to hear this, and it follows a lot of good work from public health organisations, the Department of Health and schools and colleges in the area.
“There has to be a moral framework for young female pupils, and a good education and understanding of the consequences of unplanned pregnancies.
“There are a lot of consequences for the children themselves, and the family surrounding unplanned pregnancies.
“We used to have a big problem with this in Peterborough, so it is very pleasing to see a long term trend of the numbers falling.”
Councillor Sheila Scott, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for children’s services, said she was pleased with the findings.
She said: “I am very pleased to hear the rate has fallen.
“In the past we have been higher than the national average.
“We have been working hard to reduce the number, and this is a sign that our information campaigns are working.
“I think the success is down to a number of factors. A number of services have been working together, and the work done in schools has been fantastic.”
Although the Peterborough figure is equal to the national average, it is still higher than the figure for Cambridgeshire, which stands at just 3.4 per 1,000, and in the east of England the number stands at 4.6
Cllr Scott pledged to continue to work to reduce the figure even further.
She said: “It is important we do not stop here, and we carry on the work we have started to get the figures even lower.”
Mike Passfield Head of Sexual Health Services, for Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust said: “These figures are a great success story for Peterborough. Our local team has been working closely with schools and colleges in the City, educating young people about safer sex and encouraging them to talk more openly about sex and relationships. In Peterborough the post of the Young Persons’ Community Contraception Nurse has been in place for some years, this post aims to reduce the number of 2ndpregnancies in young women up to the age of 19. Patients are supported to make informed decisions regarding their future contraception and wherever possible the service is delivered at a time and location to suit the patient.
“We hope to build on these initiatives in the future as we develop our integrated Contraception and Sexual Health (iCaSH) service.”