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New strategy is welcome, but focus on bringing down wait times needs to be 'razor-like' to improve care for women

Health Market access and evidence generation strategy Policy & regulation

Today the Government has published the first Women's Health Strategy for England which sets out plans to tackle the gender health gap.

Dr Rebecca Sloan, Women's Health Lead at LCP, commented: "The political agenda is crowded at the moment so it's great to see that women's health is being given the priority it deserves and needs. Focusing on improving medical training so there is greater awareness around gynaecological issues is welcome and will help to end the many problems that women can encounter when trying to get an issue diagnosed.

"While the announcement of measures such as new breast screening centres is a nod to the problems that the pandemic has exacerbated in terms of stretched NHS capacity, there will need to be a razor like focus on effectively targeting and bringing down women's wait times which were growing even before Covid hit. Understanding where the pressure points are and funnelling investment to the NHS trusts that need the most help will be one way of doing this. Gynaecology waiting lists in the UK are astronomical, with nearly 610,000 patients waiting for treatment as of March this year, a 69% increase on pre-pandemic levels. Behind all of these figures is a women living in pain and discomfort and while this strategy could be a massive step in the right direction if all the plans get implemented, more needs to be done to improve access to care for women imminently as well as in the future."

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