Southampton’S education boss has vowed to launch a review into
controversial sexual health services that gave a 13-year-old a contraceptive implant at school, without her parents knowing.
As a result of the Daily Echo’s investigation last week, which revealed a total of 33 students in the city had been fitted with the 4cm device on school premises, Cabinet member for children’s
services, Jeremy Moulton, said he would be bringing this issue to debate.
He said a reassessment of the service was “sensible”
to reassure parents and that he would seek action to ensure parents are given full details of exactly what contraception is on offer to children.
As previously reported in the Daily Echo, one angry mum, who discovered her 13-yearold daughter was fitted with an implant without her knowledge, believes the service, provided by Solent NHS Trust
in nine schools, is “morally wrong”.
She claims that she had received nothing from the school to inform her about this service, that even her daughter’s GP was not informed that the procedure had taken place and that the girl was not
made to have any follow-up appointments.
Health bosses have defended the service, a Government initiative, saying that it has helped reduce teenage pregnancies in the city n By Melanie Adams firstname.lastname@example.org and stressed that
it is led by fully trained professionals, who urge students to confide in their parents.
NHS Southampton and Solent NHS Trust had told the paper that all head teachers were made aware of the specifics of the service and letters were sent home to parents when it was launched in 2009,
but that it was then the responsibility of schools to inform new parents.
Councillor Moulton told the Daily Echo that he would be putting the issue on the agenda for the next meeting of Southampton’s Children’s Trust Board, which he chairs.
He said: “It has been a very interesting debate. We do have to tackle the issue of teenage pregnancy because a teenager with a baby she doesn’t want is not in anyone’s best interests.
“My view is that implants should only be fitted as a last resort. It shouldn’t be done as a routine thing and should only be used in extreme cases when all other options have been exhausted.
“We will make sure that robust procedures are followed in order to make the decision to fit an implant, which I am confident is already being done.
“But parents should be given information regarding the breadth of services because I think a lot of people are unaware of the detail of what this service offers and it is right we have that
conversation and take professional guidance.
“Not all parents are as knowledgeable as others on what contraceptives are on offer, some might think it is just condoms.
“So we will certainly review what information is being provided to schools and parents.”