• Monday, December 11, 2023


Government unveils measures to boost women’s health and wellbeing

The government is taking action to support women and their families and to help them through the trauma of baby loss

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

THE government on Saturday (22) announced a significant package of new measures to boost the health and wellbeing of women and girls, a statement said.

To mark the first anniversary of Women’s Health Strategy, a raft of actions are also being taken to support women and their families who are impacted by pregnancy loss.

The government has announced the launch of a women’s health area on the NHS website which has over 100 topics on women’s health.

Near to the new Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) hub on the site, and will enable women and girls to access important information about their health easily.

It will provide information on health issues including periods, gynaecological conditions, fertility, pregnancy, heart health and cancers.

The NHS website now contains a page specifically on adenomyosis (which causes heavy or painful periods) – including information about symptoms and the treatment currently available.

BBC presenter Naga Munchetty and patient groups have worked hard to raise awareness of the condition.

“A year on from the launch of our women’s health strategy, we have much progress to celebrate. Over 300,000 more women have accessed cheaper HRT; new women’s health hubs are popping up across the country; and we’re adding a dedicated women’s health area to the NHS website. But there is plenty more to do,” said Maria Caulfield, minister for women’s health.

“Our work continues to support women through the agony of pregnancy loss. I’d like to thank all the brave and inspiring women who have campaigned tirelessly for change as well as the review leads Zoe Clark-Coates and Samantha Collinge, who carried out this really important review.”

The government will develop a new AI tool to identify early risks in maternity units. A funding of £25 million will be distributed across England to create a women’s health hub in every area.

An accessible new tool introduced on GOV.UK to allow people to look up information about NHS-funded IVF treatment in their area.

The women’s health ambassador for England, Prof Dame Lesley Regan, has formed a new network of women’s health champions.

In response to the Zoe Clark-Coates and Samantha Collinge review, the government is taking action to support women and their families and to help them through the trauma of baby loss before 24 weeks gestation, the statement said.

“I look forward to assisting the Health Minister with the implementation of the recommendations over the coming months and years, and ensuring that the work of this review, and the spirit of the recommendations are upheld,” said Clark-Coates MBE BCAh, founder and CEO The Mariposa Trust, co-chair The Pregnancy Loss Review.

A voluntary Pregnancy Loss Certificate will be available to parents from Baby Loss Awareness Week (9-15 October) to help parents through their pain and provide a form of comfort and acknowledgement.

NHS England will carry out an important review into the current provision of cold storage facilities at Early Pregnancy Assessment Units and A&E services.

This will help government understand the level of funding needed to ensure women have 24/7 access to these units, so they aren’t expected to use their own refrigerators if they don’t want to, but have access to cold storage and clinical resources.

“The Pregnancy Loss Review and its recommendations offer a real opportunity to radically improve the care experience of parents and their families experiencing baby loss and I feel enormously privileged to have been able to co-lead this piece of work,” said Collinge, bereavement lead midwife, George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, co-chair The Pregnancy Loss Review.

“I look forward to working with the government to drive these recommendations forward and ensure that that this vital learning from families and care providers is suitably implemented.”

Eastern Eye

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