Struggling to access the right care and support for many gynaecological conditions is not a new experience for women and is the result of a lack of investment and attention given to women’s healthcare historically.
Women are waiting longer than ever for their care, with analysis that shows that gynaecology waiting lists have grown by over 60% across the UK since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this report, the RCOG shines a light on the true impact of gynaecology waiting lists on women and on the wider health system and calls for action to give parity to a speciality that has too often been overlooked.
To fully meet the needs of women on waiting lists and ensure the effective and equitable recovery of elective gynaecology services the RCOG recommends:
- Prioritisation of care as part of NHS recovery must look beyond clinical need to also consider the wider impacts on patients waiting for care.
- There needs to be a shift in the way gynaecology is prioritised as a specialty across the health service, including action to move away from using the term ‘benign’ to describe gynaecological conditions.
- Elective recovery must address the unequal growth of gynaecology waiting lists compared to other specialties.
- Elective recovery in gynaecology must focus on reducing the disparities between different regions and CCGs, ending the postcode lottery for gynaecology care.
- Governments across all four nations must put in place fully-funded, long-term plans for the NHS workforce to ensure that staffing does not continue to be a barrier to reducing waiting lists.
Read the full report