NHS Lanarkshire blasted for content of webpage on underage sex

NHS Lanarkshire has attracted fierce criticism after a health board website published controversial advice in regard to underage sex.

The page called 'Sex and the Law' tells minors that they are "highly unlikely" to get into trouble if they have intercourse if underage if the act is consensual and no large age gap is in place.

Particular exception has been taken to a paragraph which states "you will not get into trouble by talking to a doctor, a nurse or someone else in a sexual health clinic if you are having sex, thinking of having sex or accessing contraception before you are 16."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, the Catholic church wants to call in the police amidst claims that this is an "incitement to commit a criminal offence"

A spokesman said: "This dangerous advice misrepresents the criminal law and fails completely to protect the mental, physical and emotional health of Scottish children.

"This lamentable advice goes some way to explaining why Lanarkshire continues to remain near the top of Scotland’s sexual infection league tables.”

Meanwhile Meghan Gallacher MSP who is Conservative Shadow Minister for Children and Young People said "Adults should not be bringing dubiety into laws that are in place to protect children.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"When uncertainty is created around areas like the legal age of consent, it confuses youngsters and presents opportunities for those who would seek to harm vulnerable children.”

However the health board insisted that it was following national guidelines and earlier media coverage had misrepresented this.”

Kerri Todd, NHS Lanarkshire head of health improvement, said: "Our advice clearly states that any sexual activity with someone in the 13-15 age group is against the law. "Latest national figures as part of national guidance on under-age sexual activity states that almost 30% of young men and 26% of young women report having intercourse before their sixteenth birthday. it is important that we support young people to ensure they don't feel alienated or scared to access services, support or contraception Young people have a right to confidentiality which would only be broken if there was a safeguarding issue.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.