Why a Women's Health Strategy?
52% of the UK's population is female; 47% of the UK's workforce is female.
Yet women's health has not received the attention it deserves.
Too often, women are struggling to get the right information they need about their health, to book routine appointments, or to get their basic health needs met. Health services miss crucial moments to ask the right questions, prevent illness and ensure the best outcomes, and there are variations in the quality of services across the UK.
As a result, women are experiencing health inequalities and outcomes that could be avoided.
A Women's Health Strategy which champions a life-course approach to women's health will move us away from a disease intervention service, and towards a preventive health service for girls and women.
This is critically important because the evidence shows that healthy women are the cornerstone of healthy societies.
The RCOG strongly believes that getting it right for women means everyone benefits.
What do we want to achieve and how?
Ultimately, we want to transform the way women understand their health needs and how they access and receive health care, to the benefit of society as a whole.
By listening to women and working together, we can start to break down the stigma and taboo that persist in too many areas of women's health.
By providing accurate and accessible information at the right time in women's lives we can empower women to make positive choices and prevent avoidable illness.
By designing care around the needs of women, we can streamline services and remove unnecessary fragmentation.
When will the Strategy be launched?
We will be launching the Strategy in September 2019.
While this will mark the publication of the Strategy, it will represent only the end of the first phase of our work.
After the launch we will move into the next phase, using the Strategy to influence the development and delivery of women's health services and continuing our discussions with women and their families to make sure the Strategy stays relevant.
This is likely to include an event at the RCOG's new office space in London Bridge when we hope to bring people together – women, healthcare professionals and policy makers – to discuss how we can work together to turn this plan into action.
Progress so far
To make sure the Strategy is focused on the right things and will be of value to women, healthcare professionals and policy makers, it's absolutely vital that it's developed in partnership.
To achieve this, we are speaking to many different groups and individuals, to get views and opinions, and to test our own ideas.
From the discussions we have had so far – with the RCOG's Women's Network, RCOG members (O&G doctors), other Royal Colleges, system leaders and voluntary organisations – we have identified some key areas we want to include in the Strategy and some tangible recommendations that will make a difference to women's health.
These are explained in the attached slide show about the initial plan (PDF 850kb)
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