bpas’ “morning-after-pill in the post” scheme, which ran during the Christmas period 2011, won the Adult Sexual Health Project of the year at the first ever UK Sexual Health Awards, hosted by Brook and FPA. The scheme gave women access to free emergency hormonal contraception (EHC) in advance of need via post following a telephone consultation with a nurse. It was run over the Christmas period as bpas knows women can experience particular problems accessing EHC at this time of year. EHC is a safe way of preventing unwanted pregnancy when contraception has not been used properly, and the sooner it is taken the more effective it is. bpas would like to see more women able to keep EHC at home so they have quick access to it should they need it.
The judges commended the scheme for its innovative approach to delivery and were impressed by the widespread take-up by women of the service. More than 1,000 women requested the pills during the four week pilot. bpas is currently exploring whether this service could be provided on a more permanent basis.
Tracey Forsyth, bpas lead contraception nurse, said: “We are delighted that the scheme has been recognised in this way. Many of the women we spoke to had experienced problems obtaining emergency contraception when they needed it in the past, and really appreciated the opportunity to speak to a nurse whom they knew was not judging them.”
Ann Furedi, bpas chief executive, said: “The morning-after-pill needs to be there when women need it. It’s responsible not reckless to use it. It’s a good and safe back-up to regular birth control, Our nurses came up with this idea, and we’re proud that they were able to provide it. “