Luton has continued to see a reduction in the number and rate of teenage pregnancy, since 1998. The latest figures show that 63 young women conceived in 2017, giving a rate of 16.3, similar to national figures.
Teenage pregnancy carries increased risks for both mother and baby and is often associated with other vulnerabilities. Some teenage parents were supported by the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme; however, there was a high demand for support from a number of teenagers that didn’t meet the FNP criteria. Following the cessation of the FNP programme in March 2018, it was important for Luton to develop a robust system that safeguards this vulnerable group of women and promotes every opportunity for them to have access to the appropriate health and social support required throughout their pregnancy and postnatally, to achieve positive outcomes for both mother and child.
A multiagency group of local professionals have worked together over the past year to establish a new pathway for pregnant teenagers in Luton. The pathway has been developed to ensure that Luton young parents are identified in the universal health care system at the time of booking, which ensures they can be contacted at a much earlier stage in their pregnancy by school nurses or health visitor, as appropriate. A key change is that all pregnant teenagers will have their case reviewed by a small group of health care professionals, including maternity service and lead health professional in the 0-19 service. This will identify if further support is required, and who will make that offer to the pregnant teenager.
There has also been an addition of a teenage pregnancy club, led by the local maternity services which offers information, advice and support on the key public health and antenatal services in one place that can impact on their health and the health of their unborn child.
The Luton Teenage pregnancy pathway is now complete and is in use.
If you have any enquiries about the pathway, please contact Patsy Richards – Patsy.Richards@Luton.gov.uk or for more information on the teenage pregnancy club contact Jayne Pigott Jayne.Pigott2@ldh.nhs.uk