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Contraceptives: Finance

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will publish the quarterly strategic health authority progress reports on allocation of the £26.8 million funding for contraception; (257369)

(2) how much of the £26.8 million spending on contraception announced by his Department on 6 February 2008 is allocated to each (a) primary care trust and (b) strategic health authority; and whether any of the funding was re-allocated from other budgets;

(3) pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1934-40W, on teenage pregnancy, if he will assess the effectiveness of programmes intended to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies since 2005.

We expect to have a standard format that provides sufficient information without over-burdening the NHS for the next set of returns due in March. Once we have agreed the standard reporting arrangements, we will place the reports in the Library as they become available.

Of the £26.8 million additional contraceptive funding £12.8 million was included in the Primary Care Trusts' (PCT) overall general allocations. These are not ring-fenced. PCTs have the flexibility to decide how best to use their resources in delivering the national requirements and local priorities as set out in the NHS Operating Framework.

The 10 strategic health authorities (SHAs) were allocated funding based on a formula of a flat £0.5million each then an allocation based on the weighted capitation formula used for the PCT allocations. The individual SHA allocations are set out in the following table:

Strategic health authority


North East Strategic Health Authority


North West Strategic Health Authority


Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority


East Midlands Strategic Health Authority


West Midlands Strategic Health Authority


East of England Strategic Health Authority


London Strategic Health Authority


South East Coast Strategic Health Authority


South Central Strategic Health Authority


South West Strategic Health Authority


£1 million was allocated to SHAs (£100,00.00 per SHA) for work with further education colleges to improve contraceptive services for students.

£0.5 million was used for the development of a national contraception awareness campaign.

£1.5 million was used to support the 'You're Welcome programme', to make health services more young-people friendly, particularly contraceptive services.

£0.5 million was used to set up the 'Healthy Further Education Programme', which will put in place a framework to improve the contribution of colleges to health and well-being, with priority this year for sexual health.

£0.5 million was used to support more schools to gain 'Healthy School Status', including satisfying the criteria for delivering good quality Sex and Relationship Education.

None of the £26.8 million additional contraceptive funding was reallocated from any other budget.

England's under-18 conception rate is 41.7 per 1,000 and has fallen by 10.7 per cent, since the launch of the teenage pregnancy strategy. The under-16 rate is 8.3 per 1,000 and has fallen by 6.4 per cent, over the same period.

Statistics published on 26 February 2009 by the Office of National Statistics show that in 2007 the under-18 conception rate rose by 2.6 per cent. Despite the rise in national figures in 2007 the long-term trend is still downward.

The success of the teenage pregnancy strategy relies on all local areas applying it effectively. However, there is still significant variation at a local level, with some areas achieving reductions of over 30 per cent. whereas in other areas, rates have increased.

We have identified a range of factors that are in place in the areas where they have made most progress, which are either absent or being delivered less intensively in areas performing less well. These are highlighted in the document Teenage Pregnancy Next steps - guidance for Local Authorities and Primary Care trusts on effective delivery of local strategies a copy of which has been placed in the Library.

We have asked all local areas to ensure that they take account of these key ingredients and to update their local strategies as necessary. In addition, the NHS was reminded of the importance of provision of the full range of contraception to reduce teenage pregnancy in the NHS Operating Framework for 2009-10. An additional £20.5 million has been allocated for 2009-10 to support this work.