Date Published: 25 March 2009

RCN indicates that school sexual health clinics could reduce teenage pregnancy rate (UK)

Young people are more likely to use sexual health services if they can access them in schools, according to research being presented today at the Royal College of Nursing's 2009 International Research Conference in Cardiff.

Dr Debra Salmon, Reader in Community Health at the University of West England, will be presenting the evaluation of a pilot scheme which took place at 16 schools in the Neighbourhood Renewal Area of Bristol.

The nurse-led drop-in sexual health clinics proved popular with 'difficult to reach' groups including boys and vulnerable young people who would not otherwise have received advice.

The evaluation reported high levels of satisfaction with the service and also found that young people are attending for information prior to their first sexual intercourse and were using the broad range of services provided, including contraception, STI testing and advice about relationships and delaying sex.

Commenting on the scheme, Dr Salmon said:

" 61% of the young people we surveyed said they attended because it was at school and easy to access and that they would not have attended alternative provision. Providing convenient, accessible services is a great way of ensuring young people have access to the necessary sexual health advice. "

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said:

"The role school nurses can play in reducing the shocking rate of teenage pregnancy and in raising awareness about sexual health issues cannot be underestimated. This evaluation provides further tangible evidence of the immense value they offer. It is crucial that sufficient funding is allocated to increase the numbers of school nurses if we are to beat the rising numbers of STIs and teenage pregnancies."

Source: Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UK.
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