The recent rise in the number of women becoming pregnant whilst using the Implanon contraceptive device has been blamed on poor training. The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare have stated that poor training levels may have led to some devices being fitted incorrectly.
Usually inserted into the arm of a female patient by a nurse, the Implanon device provides a long-term contraceptive option; however, the device has come in to question recently after patients have sued for compensation after unwanted pregnancies.
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) has since stated that the funding set aside for contraceptive training during a three-year long initiative, beginning in 2006, had not been used correctly. Alyson Elliman, vice president of FSRH, was quoted as stating: ‘The funding wasn’t ring-fenced. Some of the primary care trusts that were in debt used it to shore that up. That may mean less access by women to the full range of contraception provided by appropriately trained staff.’
Jane Denton, advisor for midwifery and women’s health at The Royal College of Nursing, also stated: ‘One of the concerns we have seen reported is a failure of this technique. If nurses are carrying out this procedure, they should have the appropriate training, for which guidance is set.’
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency stressed however that, when fitted correctly, the Implanon device was ‘safe, effective and reliable.’
An estimated four million people use contraceptive services a year in the UK, with roughly three million of them accessing them through a GP instead of a specialist.