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August 2014 Note
Table 11 was corrected on 13 August 2014 as there was an error. Specifically, the figures for IU devices and IU systems from 2006-07 to 2012-13 had been swapped around. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.
This annual report primarily presents information on NHS community contraceptive clinics (family planning clinics and clinics run by voluntary organisations such as Brook Advisory Centres). This has been collected since 1988-89 through the KT31 return.
Information on NHS community contraceptive clinics excludes services provided in out-patient clinics and those provided by General Practitioners. However, limited data is presented for out-patient clinics sourced from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), prescription data from the Prescribing team at the HSCIC, and survey data from 'Contraception and Sexual Health 2008-09', a report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on behalf of the HSCIC.
A quarterly attendance level collection known as Sexual and Reproductive Health Activity Dataset (SRHAD) started in 2010-11 and it is currently running alongside the KT31 return. For this year's publication, 35 NHS organisations submitted full year data via KT31 and 117 organisations submitted SRHAD data of which 13 were Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), 81 were NHS Trusts, 1 was a Care Trust, 7 were Social Enterprises and 15 were Brook clinics.
Not all fields that are collected via KT31 are available via SRHAD. Information on Clinic Sessions for people aged under 25 is not available and as the majority of organisations are now returning data via SRHAD are no longer presented. Also, first contacts for women in relation to sterilisation and for men in relation to vasectomy cannot be ascertained via SRHAD. Sterilisations and vasectomies are included in data based on all contacts or on all first contacts, however they are not included in any data that are based on first contacts in relation to contraception for organisations that submitted data via SRHAD, and these data will therefore be under-reported. On the total figures, this will have a negligible effect, but will have a larger effect on the individual data for sterilisations or vasectomies. This has a larger impact this year than last year as more organisations have submitted data via SRHAD this year.
Even though the data are collected on a completely different basis (see data quality statement), the mapping and subsequent analysis of the SRHAD data are considered to make them comparable to the KT31 data. There are some data that are not available via SRHAD (mentioned above) and these need to be considered when interpreting the data.
During the period April 2012 to March 2013:
There were 2.3 million attendances at NHS community contraceptive clinics made by 1.3 million individuals. This represented a decrease of 8 per cent (194,000) on the number of attendances in 2011-12 (2.5 million) and a decrease of 5 per cent (76,000) on the number of individuals in 2011-12 (1.4 million).
1.2 million women attended NHS community contraceptive clinics, a decrease of 5 per cent (58,000) on the previous year (1.3 million).
There were 149,000 men who attended NHS community contraceptive clinics, a decrease of 11 per cent (18,000) on 2011-12 (167,000).
Oral contraception was the primary contraceptive method of 47 per cent of women who attended NHS community contraceptive clinics, and it remains the most common primary method. Oral contraception was the most common method of contraception for those in almost every age group. It was the most common method for females aged 15 attending NHS community contraceptive clinics (45 per cent chose oral contraception), for those aged 16-17 (48 per cent), 18-19 (53 per cent), 20-24 (54 per cent), 25-34 (46 per cent) and 35 and over (33 per cent).
Use of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) now accounts for 30 per cent of primary methods of contraception among women who attended NHS community contraceptive clinics. This is an increase on last year when it was 28 per cent.
There were 125,000 contacts in relation to Emergency Hormonal Contraception (EHC) at NHS community contraceptive clinics, a decrease of 3 per cent (3,000) on 2011-12.
Prescriptions for Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) were 1.3 million. This figure has been increasing each year; it was 0.7 million in 1997-98. During the same period prescriptions for user dependent methods have remained stable, varying between 7.5 and 7.8 million.