We've become quite a talking point over our bus poster campaign - created in consultation with teenagers - about avoiding unwanted pregnancy and the sexual health services available for young people.
The campaign, which ran over the summer hols, has attracted a complaint. The complainant didn't contact us with her concerns but her views have appeared online today via the Sun and Daily Mail. The ITV Loose Women show also debated the topic this lunchtime.
We think it's important that people see our full response which explains the background to the campaign. And if this debate sparks important conversations among teenagers, their parents, carers and friends, that's to be welcomed.
Nicola Wenlock, Divisional Director of Midwifery, Gynaecology and Sexual Health for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said: “In creating this particular advertising campaign - which ran over the school summer holiday period - Walsall Integrated Sexual Health worked hard to understand the teenage pregnancy audience to make sure that the communication was relevant, effective and focused.
“We apologise if this particular advertisement has raised a concern, the intent was to raise awareness of emergency contraception and advice available for those in this age group who wish to avoid unwanted pregnancies. The campaign has played an important role in tackling teenage pregnancy and poor sexual health in our local area which has been reducing steadily year on year. The conception rate in 1998 was 67.2; in 2016 this rate had more than halved to 30.0
“We will continue to work closely with all audiences to ensure we offer the best possible services for them and will continue to review all materials closely for future campaigns.”
The campaign, which has been informed by feedback from young people, finished on 2 September but has been run previously.
There are two posters featured – the other one used features a games console.
The posters do not refer to gender. While they talk about emergency contraception, which would be taken by a female, the images have been selected because teenagers have told us what is important to them as part of the regular consultation we have with them.
Teenagers will also help to inform future campaigns.
Our emergency contraception service was ranked top out of 146 in the country in the FRSH (Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare) emergency contraception benchmarking audit which ran from January to April this year.