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Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what measures the £26.8 million allocated for the improvement for young people’s access to contraception in February 2008 has been spent; and if he will make a statement. (291582)

A total of £26.8 million has been allocated this year to strategic health authorities (SHAs) and primary care trusts (PCTs) to improve women’s knowledge of, and access to, the full range of contraception, to help reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and abortions.

It is for SHAs and PCTs to determine how to use this funding most effectively to meet the needs of their local populations. However, officials are working with SHAs to provide advice and spread good practice. Priority areas include encouraging innovation and providing sustainable services to ensure equitable access to all methods of contraception including long acting reversible (LARC) methods. Guidance from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence highlighted that the national health service could save around £100 million through reducing unintended pregnancies if women switched to LARC.

In addition, each SHA will also receive an additional £250,000 to pump-prime the provision of information technology in community contraception services.