Published On: 17 January 2024Tags: , , ,

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins outlined the government’s new priorities for women’s health in 2024 today. The top focus areas under the Women’s Health Strategy include addressing menstrual problems and menopause, enhancing maternity care, and providing support for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

Speaking at the Women’s Health Summit in London, the Health Secretary emphasised the commitment to improving women’s healthcare. In the past year, the government has reduced the cost of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and established women’s health hubs in every local health area.

The 2024 priorities, developed based on input from over 100,000 healthcare professionals and stakeholders, encompass a comprehensive approach to women’s health. Key initiatives include:

1. Better Care for Menstrual and Gynaecological Conditions: providing new guidance for healthcare professionals, improving information and support for women facing menstrual problems, and conducting research on the impact of period problems and endometriosis on women’s participation in the workforce.

2. Expanding Women’s Health Hubs: Rolling out women’s health hubs and investing £25 million to establish fully functioning hubs in every local area, enhancing access to care for issues such as menstrual problems, contraception, pelvic pain, and menopause.

3. Tackling Disparities and Supporting Vulnerable Women: including victims of sexual abuse and violence by ensuring training and support systems are working collaboratively and efficiently. This will include creating new models within the NHS to protect its staff; and also a focus on improving the health of women in the justice system, by implementing the recommendations set out in the National Women’s Prison Health and Social Care Review.

4. Bolstering Maternity Care: by continuing to deliver on the Three Year Delivery Plan and ensuring women understand the care they can expect from the NHS during pregnancy and after giving birth. Supporting women who suffer with birth trauma and ensure both mental and physical health are prioritised. A greater focus will be placed on preconception and postnatal care for women, raising awareness of morning sickness and actioning the recommendations set out in the Pregnancy Loss Review. Through the first ever National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) ‘Challenge’, backed by £50 million, researchers, policymakers, and women will be tasked with finding new ways to tackle maternity disparities

5. More Research: Building on the £53 million invested in the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) programmes and improving women’s representation in medical research through the Research Inclusion Strategy.

The government also announced the reappointment of Professor Dame Lesley Regan as Women’s Health Ambassador for England until December 2025.

For more information, visit the Women’s Health Strategy England website.