TEENAGE pregnancy rates have more than halved in the county.

Figures released by FPA, The sexual health charity showed that teenage pregnancy in England and Wales fell between January to March 2017.

Worcestershire County Council’s Dr Frances Howie, director of public health said: “The reduction in teenage conception has been consistent across the county and rates have more than halved in all districts since the Government’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched more than 17 years ago.”

In England there were 18.5 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 17 (4,075 in total), a 6.6 per cenm drop from the same period the year before, when there were 19.8 per 1,000 (4,485 in total).

Different regions in England saw a wide variation in results compared to the same quarter last year, ranging from a 12.5 per cent drop in the East of England to a 1.1 per cent drop in London. The West Midlands maintained the same rate of 21.6 per 1,000, and the North East saw an increase of 3.6 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.

Dr Howie said: “The Local Authority has been responsible for the provision of most community sexual health and contraception services since 2013, and while Worcestershire’s teenage conception rate has historically been lower than the rate overall in England, the rate has continued to reduce during this time.

“We are delighted that the government is preparing to make Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in schools from next summer. In Worcestershire we already have a provision of accessible young person friendly contraception and sexual health services coupled with good quality Relationships and Sex Education in our schools, and hope the compulsory move will further support our current work.

“One of our Public Health priorities remains continuing to reduce the rate of under 18 conceptions across the county as well as improving support for our young parents. We will continue to tackle teenage conceptions and work jointly with our partners across the NHS, Schools and Local Authorities to sustain the reduction in conception rates and improve sexual health outcomes across the county.”