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RCOG calls for the next UK government to set an ambitious vision for women’s health throughout the life course

24 May 2024

Following the announcement of the UK general election on 4 July, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists reiterates our five calls to action for the next government. 

Women’s health has historically been left behind with lack of adequate investment in both services and research, meaning missed opportunities to provide the right information, care and support at the right time across a woman’s life course.

The RCOG is calling for:            

  1. The next government to prioritise women’s health and maintain a focus on implementing the Women’s Health Strategy and Women’s Health Hubs in the long term.
  2. The next government to significantly improve maternity care by implementing fully funded cross-government policies and programmes to ensure all women receive high-quality, personalised and safe maternity care. 
  3. The Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England to set up a joint taskforce to address the unique growth in waiting lists in gynaecology.
  4. A commitment to parliamentary time for abortion law reform.
  5. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to return spending on sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights (SRHR) to pre-cut levels of 5% of the overseas aid budget.
Dr Ranee Thakar, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We are calling for the next government to prioritise women’s health focusing on better healthcare access, safety improvements, and reproductive rights. Commitment to the Women’s Health Strategy and the success of Women’s Health Hubs will be key to this.

“Sexual and reproductive health should be a funding priority in both the UK and globally. If women and girls are to be supported to fully participate in social and political life and make decisions about their own bodies, they must be supported to have access to sexual and reproductive health and rights across the life course. Abortion law reform is essential to protect these rights in the UK, hence why we are asking the next government to commitment to parliamentary time to the matter. 

“Every woman should receive safe, compassionate and personalised maternity care, timely care for gynaecology conditions and access to sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion.

“To prevent burnout among obstetricians and gynaecologists, we are also calling for the future government to commit to vital action on workforce retention, flexible working, training and development.”
  •  View full document here: 
  •  You can find more detail about each of the key asks and our policy positions here.
  • Policy and governance
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Abortion
  • Menopause
  • Gynaecology
  • Fertility