How to provide safe and effective health care for women in the 21st century will be discussed at an innovative event hosted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) this week (17–18 October).
Women’s Health Care for the 21st Century: Understanding the theory and putting it into practice explores the concept of a structured ‘life-course’ approach, which follows recommendations from the RCOG’s working party report High Quality Women’s Health Care.
Emphasising health promotion and disease prevention, this concept states that all professionals within the NHS, including public health, need to come together to think of health promotion, at all stages of a woman’s life, as a priority.
The two-day event, the first of its kind for the RCOG, will feature presentations from a range of experts within community and government bodies, including the Department of Health, Office of National Statistics and the media.
Speakers will address current challenges facing women’s health care at a service and policy level, offering information and guidance on what can be done to best influence change through commissioning and health networks to make better care a reality for the NHS.
Care practitioners specialising in women’s health, from the early years to post-menopause, will also provide up-to-date information on the most pressing clinical issues facing women and health care professionals. Issues being discussed include mental health and its impact on reproductive health, adolescent health care interventions, fetal wellbeing, birth outcomes and their impact on future health.
Dr David Richmond, RCOG President, said:
“Women deserve a medical service which focuses around their needs and that is safe and effective. This is an important event to highlight and to understand why women’s health services require change to become more comprehensive.
“Although there is work already underway in some areas of women’s health to integrate gynaecology and sexual health, and link maternity care with early years’ care, there is still a need to integrate services throughout a woman’s life.
“The experts speaking are in the best possible position to offer invaluable insight and recommendations on how we can focus our resources on achieving this and provide a health service that can be efficient to ensure women receive the right care, at the right time, in the right place, provided by the right person.”
Cath Broderick, Chair of the RCOG Women’s Network who will be speaking at the event, added:
“This conference brings together the voices of women and the experts who are meeting the challenge of designing and delivering health care to meet their needs.
“The key to developing women-centred high quality care, which improves the health of all women and their experience of care, is to hear from them. How they want to access care throughout their lives, how they use services and what will meet their needs. We must ensure that women are at the heart of decision-making to shape better services.
“Speakers at the conference will be able to provide examples of the changes, policy and practice which illustrate the way women’s choices, health and life chances could be improved by more personalised, safe and accessible services.”
Click to view the full programme
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