Background Teenage pregnancy costs the NHS £63 million annually and is associated with a range of poor pregnancy outcomes. NICE guidance on pregnancy and complex social factors highlighted the absence of good quality evidence regarding which intervention(s) improve the pregnancy outcomes of young women (YW) aged under 20 (YW). A key research recommendation was that the different models of service provision which exist in the UK for pregnant YW should be identified.
Method A questionnaire was devised to assess the services provided to pregnant YW in 17 maternity units in the North West. This was completed by telephone or face-to-face interview conducted with either a specialist teenage pregnancy midwife (STPMW) or the unit lead for antenatal services.
Results 15 units offered additional services to pregnant YW, all of whom employed a STPMW. 12 STPMWs were interviewed about the services their unit provided.
The majority of STPMWs provide a service to pregnant YW on a full-time basis (67%). 55% of services include drop-in clinics, 91% provide antenatal classes targeted specifically at YW and 55% offer school based antenatal care. 82% of services provide assistance with transportation. In addition, 55% have peer-led services for example, feeding groups. On average each service is in direct contact with 15 other agencies at any one time including: Connexions, social services and housing.
Conclusions This is the first UK study looking at the models of service provision for pregnant YW. It reveals that in the majority of units these services are based on STPMWs.
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