Rates of teenage pregnancy on the slide in Bulwell

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RATES of teenage pregnancy are continuing to fall in Bulwell — a town that was once one of Europe’s hotspots for young mums.

Bulwell’s reputation previously sparked a Dispatch front-page story dubbing the town ‘Teenage Mumsville’.

But between October and December 2010, the teenage conception rates for Nottingham, including Bulwell, city stood at 54.3 per 1,000 15 to 17-year-old girls — a drop of 12% on the previous year.

This equates to 14 fewer young women conceiving than in the previous year — a drop from 72 to 58.

Bulwell’s Labour MP Graham Allen, who is the chairman of Nottingham’s Teenage Pregnancy Taskforce, said that the figures, which take 14 months to compile, represent a downward trend that compares favourably with national reductions, but emphasised that there is no room for complacency.

He said: “Nottingham has a partnership approach to reducing teenage pregnancy, built on the bedrock of early intervention to develop the social and emotional capabilities of young people, families and communities.

“Our early intervention city approach is central to the teenage pregnancy plan set out three years ago and the coming year’s plan builds on that long-term strategy.”

Peter Cansfield, deputy director of public health for NHS Nottingham City, said: “These figures represent sustained work in supporting young people to make better decisions about their sexual health.

“We are still seeing an overall downward trend which means that the proportion of young people facing the dilemmas of unwanted, unplanned pregnancy continues to fall, which must be a good thing.”

A number of initiatives have also been introduced to try and prevent teenage pregnancies. These include the ‘Student Sexual Health Peer Mentor/Advisor Manual,’ which aims to equip students to work with and support their peers.

A ‘Keeping it Safe’ manual has also been produced for students aged 16 to 19 with learning disabilities and learning difficulties.

Coun Nicola Heaton (Lab), executive assistant (Health) for Nottingham City Council, said: “The overall downward trend shows that our continued efforts to support young people in the city are making a positive difference.

“One of the things that has made a real impact is the significant investment that has been made in contraceptive and sexual health services over the past five years, leading to provision that is of a high quality and accessible to young people.”