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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Sexual and Reproductive Health Services, England - 2015-16

National statistics, Official statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Provider, Hospital Trusts, Local Authorities, Regions, Country, Independent Sector Health Care Providers
Date Range:
01 Apr 2015 to 31 Mar 2016


This publication covers activity taking place in the community at dedicated Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services, including activity at non NHS service providers where available.

SRH services include family planning services, community contraception clinics, integrated GUM and SRH services and young people's services e.g. Brook advisory centres. They provide a range of services including, but not exclusively, contraception provision and advice, sexual health treatment and advice, pregnancy related care, abortion related care, cervical screening, psychosexual therapy, PMS treatment, colposcopy services, fertility treatment and care and gynaecological treatment and care.

A contact within this report may be a clinic attendance, or a contact with the service at a non-clinic venue such as home visits / outreach, or a non-face to face contact such as by telephone or e-mail.

The data includes non-English residents using services based in England.

This report excludes services provided in out-patient clinics, at community pharmacies and those provided by General Practitioners, unless otherwise stated.


  • There were 2.03 million contacts with dedicated SRH services made by 1.26 million individuals. This represented a decrease of 4 per cent on the number of contacts in 2014/15 (2.13 million). It also represented a decrease of 4 per cent in the number of individuals attending SRH services.

  • 7 per cent of the resident population of women between the ages of 13 and 54 had at least one contact with an SRH service. For men in the same age group, 1 per cent of the resident population had at least one contact.

  • Women aged 18 to 19 were most likely to use an SRH service, with 19 per cent having at least one contact.

  • 38 per cent of women contacting SRH services for reasons of contraception were using long acting reversible contraceptives. Over the last ten years, this proportion has been increasing and the proportion using user dependent methods has been decreasing. However, oral contraceptives (a user dependent method) were still the most common form of contraception item in use, being the main method for 45 per cent of women contacting SRH services for contraception.

  • The number of emergency contraception items provided to women by both SRH services and at other locations in the community was approximately 291 thousand in 2015/16. This has fallen steadily over the last ten years, from approximately 484 thousand in 2005/06, a decrease of 40 per cent[1].

UPDATE 29/11/2016

On 25th November 2016, NHS Digital was informed by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust they had not included 510 contacts from their submission of 5,390 contacts.  The report has not been corrected as it has negligible effect when looking at national level data.  However, this error should be considered when looking at the published data for this provider and local authorities in the Torbay and South Devon area.  NHS Digital apologises for any inconvenience caused.

[1] Please note, these figures do not represent the full volume of emergency contraceptives provided. 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 women aged 16 and over).


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Last edited: 11 April 2018 5:19 pm