Government calls for evidence to support a Women’s Health Strategy for England

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is seeking views to help inform the development of the government’s Women’s Health Strategy for England. The call for evidence looks to collect views on women's health and will run until 30 May 2021.

Fri 30th April 2021 The PDA

DHSC has highlighted that there is strong evidence of the need for greater focus on women’s health and to recognise and act on the inequalities. This exercise aims to ensure that their strategy is evidence-based and reflects what women identify as priorities.

The announcement outlines that, in the UK, women have a longer life expectancy than men, with life expectancy at birth being 83.1 for women and 79.4 years for men in 2017 to 2019. However, women spend over a quarter of their lives in ill health or disability, compared with around one-fifth of men. Moreover, in recent years, healthy life expectancy has fallen for women but has remained stable for men. There are also differences in life expectancy across socio-economic groups.

On the launch of the call for evidence, Minister of State, Nadine Dories said: “Throughout my time as Minister, it has become clear that there are some key themes which cut across different areas of women’s health, and on which we must take action.

We know that damaging taboos and stigmas remain around many areas of women’s health, which can prevent women from starting conversations about their health or seeking support for a health issue. When women do speak about their health, all too often, they are not listened to. Independent reports and inquiries – not least the First do no harm report and the Paterson Inquiry report – have found that it is often women who the healthcare system fails to keep safe and fails to listen to. We absolutely must change this.”

The PDA will be submitting evidence to inform the strategy, including highlighting the work of the National Association of Women Pharmacists (NAWP) and their recent work in producing factsheets to get the conversation started around menopause, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer.

Naina Chotai, President of NAWP said: “NAWP aims to raise health issues affecting women’s health to employers, members of the profession, and to patients. We welcome this call for evidence by the Government which we hope will inform a more strategic approach to women’s health and address the barriers which often prevent women from talking about their health and seeking support. I would wholeheartedly like to encourage NAWP and PDA members to participate in this evidence-gathering exercise.”

To respond to the call for evidence as an individual, you can complete the public survey available here by 11.45 pm on 30 May 2021.

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