Children and young people’s sexual health and healthy relationships

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Lewisham ran a number of engagement events with 424 young people, between September 2016 to February 2017. This aimed to gather their views on sexual health. This work was done as part of Healthwatch Lewisham’s engagement programme on sexual health services for young people. The report identified a number of key issues. Relationships and sex is the most common topic young people were concerned about. Peer pressure was a factor into leading young people to behave or engage in a sexual relationship in a certain way. Social media put a huge pressure on young people’s body image. Expectations of having ‘big boobs’, ‘small waist’ for young women, or ‘large genitalia’ for young men, add pressure to one’s body image. Most young people, if they need advice about sex or relationship, would talk to either parents or friends. Reviews of the sexual health clinics in Lewisham were mainly positive, with only a few young people feeling “judged” for using services, and that there were services dedicated for those under 25s. most respondents were unaware of the C-Card scheme for free condoms for 12 – 24 year olds. There was general dissatisfaction that sex education is provided by female teachers for young women, and by male teachers for young men. This did not take into account young people’s upbringing who may prefer a teacher from the opposite sex when learning about sex education. The report made the following recommendations: • Healthy teenage relationships, including information, laws and consequences around sexting and pornography should be taught to all school age children. This is something that should be compulsory and not just a “one-off” lesson. • A specialised under 25’s sexual health service should be available in the north and/or central part of the borough (neighborhoods 1&2) • All staff at sexual health clinics should be trained in signposting and how to give respectful advice. This is especially important for receptionists who are often the first point of contact. • Young people to have a choice in who delivers their sex education. • Staff to be trained on how to deliver sessions around sensitive issues and trained on how to spot students in unhealthy relationships and offer the appropriate signposting. • The C-Card scheme to be advertised more widely so that young people know that it is available and how to access it.

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General details

Report title 
Children and young people’s sexual health and healthy relationships
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Lewisham
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 May, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 30 September, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 28 February, 2017
Type of report 
Local analysis
Key themes 
Health and safety
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Sexual health
Community services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.