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Bishop's Stortford MP Julie Marson urges women to have their say on health care

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Bishop's Stortford's first woman MP is urging her female constituents to share their experiences of sex-specific health care.

So far, just 7% of the 75,000 women, clinicians, carers and organisations who have taken part in a Government consultation to inform the first-ever Women's Health Strategy are from the East of England region, which includes Hertfordshire and Essex.

Hertford and Stortford MP Julie Marson said: "Every one of us should have confidence in the health and care we receive – but for too long, women have been experiencing a system that is not designed to meet their needs.

Julie Marson, MP for Hertford and Stortford. Pic: Vikki Lince (47709382)
Julie Marson, MP for Hertford and Stortford. Pic: Vikki Lince (47709382)

"As we look towards our recovery and building our NHS back in a better way, we must seize this moment to deliver a system that truly delivers for women, and we want them to have their say in shaping the future of women's healthcare.

"I would encourage women across Hertford and Stortford to come forward and share their experiences, so together we can deliver fairer, more equal and better healthcare for everyone in this country."

The strategy will address women's health from adolescence to old age.

Women's health minister Nadine Dorries
Women's health minister Nadine Dorries

The consultation launched in March, but to enable as many women as possible to have their say and capture a variety of views on access to services, experiences and health outcomes, the call for evidence has been extended by two weeks, to close on June 13.

Women's health minister Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid Bedfordshire, said: "For generations women have been living in a health and care system primarily designed by men, for men.

"The number of responses to date has been incredible and I thank everyone who has shared their experiences – these interim findings clearly highlight the need for decisive action.

"I now urge every woman in Hertford and Stortford, if they have not yet, to come forward and respond to the call for evidence. It is only by hearing the experiences and priorities of women from all walks of life that we can truly develop a strategy that works for all women."

The six core themes in the call for evidence are:

  • Placing women’s voices at the centre of their health and care – how the health and care system engages with and listens to women at the individual level as well as at the system level.
  • Improving the quality and accessibility of information and education on women’s health – women having access to high-quality information when they need to make a decision, increasing health literacy, as well as increasing awareness and understanding of women’s health conditions among clinicians.
  • Ensuring the system understands and is responsive to women’s health and care needs across the life course – supporting women to maximise their health across their lives, and ensuring services are designed to maximise benefits for women.
  • Maximising women’s health in the workplace – deepening understanding of how women’s health issues can affect their workforce participation and outcomes, both with regards to female-specific issues such as menopause, but also conditions that are more prevalent in women such as musculoskeletal conditions, depression or anxiety.
  • Ensuring that research, evidence and data support improvements in women’s health – inclusion of women and women’s health in research and data collection and how that information is used and driving participation in clinical trials to support improvements in women’s health.
  • Understanding and responding to the impacts of Covid-19 on women’s health.

For more information see www.gov.uk/government/consultations/womens-health-strategy-call-for-evidence/womens-health-strategy-call-for-evidence.

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