A report into the controversial NHS pilot which saw girls as young as 13 able to receive the contraceptive pill without consulting a GP has said the scheme should be rolled out nationwide.

The pilot in south-east London was designed to offer the 'morning-after pill' to women and girls over the age of 16 but found that many under-16s also accessed the scheme as they felt "more comfortable" accessing contraception from a pharmacists rather than their family doctor.

With figures showing that 46% of users were 'first-timers', the NHS report concluded that it was important "to shift activity out of GP practices" in order to help reduce Britain's soaring underage pregnancy rates.

The Department of Health has said it supports the scheme as long as "proper safeguards" are put in place. A DH statement said: "Pharmacists should be fully satisfied young people understand all the issues before they prescribe any contraceptive, including encouraging the young person to talk to their parents."

Howver, Dr Fiona Cornish of the Medical Women's Federation has said she would be "uneasy" about pharmacy distribution of the pill without a full GP assessment.

What do you think? Vote in our website poll - Should all 13 year old girls be able to access the contraceptive pill via their local pharmacy? or let us know your views @journalfhc on Twitter.

Posted 26/04/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com