Over the spring and summer of 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care has been consulting on a Women’s Health Strategy for England. This has included a call for evidence to ask women about their needs and experiences, as well as an opportunity for organisations with expertise in women’s health to submit a response.
The overarching call in our Better for Women report was the publication of a strategy for women’s health, and so we strongly welcome the development of this strategy. It is a huge opportunity for the Government to set out an ambitious plan to make real, sustained improvements in women’s health throughout their lives.
You can download and read our full response to the consultation here. This sets out our vision for women’s health and a series of recommendations to make this vision a reality.
Placing women’s voices at the centre of their health and care
- Professionals listen to and empower women
- Women’s health is represented at every level across the health and care system
- There is no stigma preventing women from accessing the right care and support
Improving the quality and accessibility of information and education on women’s health
- All women, whatever their background, can access trusted and comprehensive information
- All young people are educated from an early age about women’s health
- Professionals and services are equipped with the right information to provide high-quality advice and care around women’s health
Ensuring the health and care system understands and is responsive to women’s health and care needs across the life course
- Women can easily access care to meet all their sexual and reproductive healthcare needs, at every stage of their life
- Prevention, early intervention and public health are at the centre of our approach to women’s health
- Health care and wider public services are systematically geared to reduce and eliminate inequalities in access, experience and outcomes for women
Maximising women’s health in the workplace
- Women’s health is never a barrier to their participation in work
Ensuring research, evidence and data support improvements in women’s health
- Across the health and care system, there is consistent collection of data on women’s health outcomes and experiences
- Research into diagnostics and treatment in health care gives equal weight to women’s experiences and health, and we reach a point where the gender data gap no longer exists
Understanding and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 on women’s health
- The impact of COVID-19 on women’s services, including any backlog in care, is fully addressed
- All women have equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccination, with the right information and support to ensure they feel confident to take up the offer of a vaccine
- The positive ways of working that have been developed or accelerated because of the pandemic are built into long-term service delivery