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National Statistics
Publication

Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (Contraception), England, 2018/19 [NS]

This is part of

National statistics
Publication date:
Geographic coverage:
England
Date range:
01 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2019

Part 3: Emergency contraception

Figures in this part do not represent the full volume of emergency contraceptives provided in England.

Most of the analysis relates to emergency contraception provided at SRH services only. Counts from community prescribing data (items dispensed primarily by pharmacists and GPs - see part 5 for full inclusions) are also shown in the first section - this data is sourced from the Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) system, supplied by NHS Prescription Services.

Since 2001, the reclassification of emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) meant that it could also be purchased over the counter at a pharmacy without a prescription (by females aged 16 and over). In addition, nurses and pharmacists can supply EHC to females of all ages under a Patient Group Direction (PGD). PGDs are documents which make it legal for medicines to be provided to groups of patients without individual prescriptions having to be written for each patient. Data on supply by PGD are not collected centrally.

 

Emergency contraception provision

Emergency contraception provided by SRH services, or dispensed in the community, by year

Community prescribing data is reported by calendar year, so is presented separately from SRH services data.

Over the last ten years, there has been a fall in the number of emergency contraception items provided by both SRH services and at other locations in the community.

At SRH services, the number of emergency contraception items provided in 2018/19 was 91 thousand. This is 5% less than in 2017/18 (96 thousand), and a fall of 36%, from 142 thousand in 2008/09.

The number of emergency contraception prescriptions dispensed in the community fell to 130 thousand in 2018, a fall of 15% compared to 2017. In the last ten years this has fallen by 51%, from 265 thousand in 2008.

Chart showing emergency contraception provided by SRH services, by year
Chart showing emergency contraception dispensed in the community, by year

 

Likelihood of being provided emergency contraception by SRH services, by age

5 per 1,000 of the female population were provided emergency contraception by an SRH service in 2018/19.

The likelihood of a female using an SRH service to obtain emergency contraception varies with age.

Those aged 18 to 19 were the most likely, with 21 per 1,000 population having done so at least once during the year.

There were 4,053 females aged 13 to 15 provided with emergency contraception by an SRH service at least once during the year, representing 4 per 1,000 population.

Chart showing likelihood of being provided emergency contraception by SRH services, by age

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For more data relating to this section:

 

 

Emergency contraception provided to under 16s (SRH services only)

Emergency contraception items provided to under 16s, by year

The number of emergency contraception items provided to under 16s by SRH services over the last ten years, has fallen both in real terms and as a percentage of those provided to females of all ages.

4,693 items were provided to under 16s by SRH services in 2018/19, representing 5% of total emergency contraception. This compares to 17,605 items in 2008/09 (a decrease of 73%), which represented 12% of the total.

Chart showing emergency contraception items provided to under 16s by year - thousands
Chart showing emergency contraception items provided to under 16s by year - As a percent of EC Items provided to females of all ages

 

Likelihood by deprivation level1

The likelihood of females aged 13 to15 using SRH services for emergency contraception increases with the deprivation level in their area of residence.

This varied from 2 per 1,000 population in the least deprived areas, to 8 per 1,000 population in the most deprived areas.

Chart showing Emergency contraception provided to under 16’s (by SRH services only) by deprivation level

 

Likelihood by Local Authority2

The likelihood of a person using SRH services for emergency contraception will be influenced by the availability of such services in their area of residence.

The likelihood of females aged 13 to 15 using SRH services for emergency contraception, was highest in St. Helens (41 per 1,000 population), Blackpool (35), Wirral (30), and Oldham (27).

60 LAs recorded a rate of less than 3 per 1,000 population.

Map showing Emergency contraception provided to under 16’s (by SRH services only) by Local Authority

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1. Data is based on the Lower Super Output Area of residence mapped to Index of Multiple Deprivation deciles. For more information see Appendix B.  

2. Based on percentage data that has been rounded to the nearest whole number.

For more data relating to this section:

Last edited: 12 September 2019 2:30 pm