Teenage pregnancy rates fall across Durham

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Teenage pregnancies in County Durham have fallen to their lowest level in 20 years.

But the county continues to lag behind the rest of the country.

According to the council’s latest figures, between October 2015 and September 2016 the ‘under 18 conception rate’ was 22.4 per 1,000.

This was higher than the national rate of 19.3 per 1,000, but also lower than the 25.2 for the North East as a whole.

Discussing the findings at Monday’s Durham County Council Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Durham County Hall, councillors welcomed the data, but some were also concerned whether woman and girls in some parts of Durham are able to access healthcare easily enough.

Maura McKeon, a Labour Party councillor for Coxhoe, said: “The area that I’m in has quite limited access to GPs for some, so they struggle to access a GP for any information on preventative sexual health matters.

“Also, if they want to terminate a pregnancy, they need two GPs to sign it off.”

James Harrison

James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service