Where are we now?
The current state of sexual health in Cheshire West and Chester demonstrates the need for continued action and innovation:
- Since 1998, national and local conception rates in females aged under 18 have reduced. The latest data (2015) records a rate of 17.9 conceptions per 1,000 females under the age of 18, representing 98 pregnancies. The local rate is slightly lower than the national average, and whilst this is encouraging, it is important to note the significantly higher rates in Ellesmere Port and Winsford wards
- In under 18s, the percentage of conceptions leading to abortion in 2015 was 60 per cent. This proportion has shown some variation in recent years, although it remains statistically similar to the England average due to the relatively small numbers involved
- The percentage of abortions that are repeat abortions in the under 25s is just under 22 per cent in 2015. This is significantly lower than the England average of 26.5 per cent
- Emergency Hormonal Contraception is available free of charge to all women from accredited Pharmacists in Cheshire West and Chester. Between April 2016 and March 2017 2,995 consultations were carried out, of which 53 per cent were with women aged under 25
- The use of Long Acting Reversible Contraception in females aged 15 to 44 in Cheshire West and Chester is higher than the England average at 55.7 per 1,000
- Overall, the rate of new Sexually Transmitted Infection (STIs) diagnoses (excluding Chlamydia in 15 to 24 year olds, for which there is a national screening programme) has reduced in recent years and rates of infections are lower than those for the North West and England. The most common sexually transmitted infection diagnosed in Cheshire West and Chester are chlamydia and genital warts, both of which are most common in the 20-24 year age group. The Public Health Outcomes Framework shows that in 2015 Cheshire West and Chester had significantly lower (better) rates of syphilis, gonorrhoea, genital warts and genital herpes compared to the England average
- Figures from 2016 for the National Chlamydia Screening Programme show that Cheshire West and Chester now exceeds the national target of 23 positive tests for every 1,000 15-24 year olds
- The prevalence of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) has remained similar over the past five years with the most recent rate at 0.90 per 1,000 in 2015. This meets the national target of less than two per 1,000. Of those who do receive a diagnosis of HIV in Cheshire West and Chester just under 40 per cent are diagnosed at a late stage of infection which is similar to England
To improve the sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing of people living in Cheshire West and Chester by adopting a whole system approach (commissioners, providers and wider stakeholders working together) and continually improving education, prevention, testing, treatment and support services.