Monday, 13 December 2010

Tough choices or simple math?

Today, the Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group, of which I am a member, publishes its final report. In it we warn that teenage pregnancy rates will start to rise again without strong national leadership, continued investment in contraceptive services and renewed urgency behind improving sex and relationships education.

Yes there are some genuinely tough choices to make about spending, but when it comes to preventing teenage pregnancy, it is a matter of simple math. As the TP IAG states in the report, if we disinvest (cut) contraceptive services now, it will cost councils, the NHS and the Treasury more. And quite simply it isn't a cut now, pay later deal.

So I recommend those councils and PCTs that are drawing up plans to cut services take heed of the advice from TP IAG and think hard and think again.

Here is a link to the BBC coverage of the TP IAG report

TP IAG has done some really important work over the last decade and whilst this group is coming to an end, as this report states, the policy focus on teenage pregnancy and parenthood must not for at least two reasons;

young people need education and support so they can both enjoy and take responsibility for the sex they have and use contraception effectively

those who become young parents need really high quality support so they can be brilliant

1 comment:

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