Mixed reaction to PCT plans for sexual health services for teenagers

Primary care trusts’ intentions to push on with work to tackle teenage pregnancy rates across the country have been welcomed by campaigners, although concerns remain around the lack of other sexual health services planned for young people.

An examination by several leading sexual health charities of a sample of PCT local delivery plans for 2005-08 reveals that the overwhelming majority of PCTs in England have made specific commitments to reduce teenage conception rates in their area. However, almost a quarter of PCTs did not mention services such as chlamydia screening for 15- to 24-year-olds in their plans.

The Terence Higgins Trust said the focus on cutting teenage pregnancy rates was down to the introduction of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, which has kept the issue at the top of the agenda. The government introduced the strategy in 1999 with the aim of halving the under-18 conception rate by 2010.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “It is excellent news that PCTs are making strong commitments to tackling under-18 conception rates, but this does not hold true across other areas of sexual health.”

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