Robert Largan MP has welcomed new plans for the next 12 months for implementing the Women’s Health Strategy for England. These come after good progress has been made over the last few months.
Five new priorities have been set for the next 12 months. These five priorities are as follows:
• Improving care before, during and after pregnancy.
• Improving care for gynaecological conditions and menstrual problems.
• Expanding women’s health hubs.
• Tackling disparities and improving support for vulnerable women.
• Boosting research into women’s health
By March, new services to avoid tears during childbirth and to improve maternal mental health will be rolled out across England, alongside updated guidance for GPs. There will also be continued support for women and their partners who have experienced pregnancy loss, including through the Baby Loss Certificate Service, which will be available shortly.
Guidance will be updated this year for gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis. Access to contraception will also be improved through Pharmacy First, which will play a vital role in managing menstrual problems.
£25 million is being invested in women’s health hubs. The Department of Health & Social Care is working closely with NHS England and expects all 42 local systems in England to have at least one hub operating this year.
There will be a focus on support for more vulnerable women, including those who have been victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. This come alongside work to reduce maternal disparities, as data continues to show that black women are almost three times more likely to die during (or shortly after) pregnancy than white women.
Through the first ever National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) challenge fund of its kind, £50 million will be provided to unite researchers, policymakers and women to tackle maternity disparities. This will also encourage more research into under-researched women’s health issues such as lobular breast cancer, as well as conditions that affect women and men differently, such as heart attacks.
More locally, work is underway at Stepping Hill, which will be refurbished to create another unit specifically for women. This is something not currently provided locally and will allow women to receive specialist psychiatric care.
Robert Largan MP also previously led the successful campaign to get the local mobile breast cancer screening unit reinstated to the High Peak, which is now operating at beyond its pre-Covid capacity.
Commenting, Robert Largan, MP for High Peak, said: “It is good to see the Women’s Health Strategy for England continuing to tackle a variety of important issues.
“Specialist healthcare for women in the High Peak will be massively boosted by the construction of the new unit at Stepping Hill. I will continue campaigning for improved health provision for women in the High Peak.”
Commenting, Health and Social Care Secretary, Victoria Atkins said: “We’re breaking historical barriers that prevent women getting the care they need, building greater understanding of women’s healthcare issues and ensuring their voices and choices are listened to.
“We’ve made huge progress – enabling almost half a million women access cheaper HRT, supporting women through the agony of pregnancy loss and opening new women’s health hubs – but I absolutely recognise there is more to do.”