Last year, NCT contributed to a government call for evidence to improve women’s health and care. Over 100,000 women, organisations including NCT, clinicians and carers shared their experiences of the health and care system.
Just before Christmas, the vision for the first ever Women’s Health Strategy was published. It showed that women didn’t feel listened to by the healthcare system, and promised change.
The Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield, said: “The responses from the call for evidence were in many ways expected, particularly with regards to women’s priorities, but in some places the revelations were shocking.
“It is not right that over three-quarters of women feel the healthcare system has not listened. This must be addressed.”
The appointment of a Women’s Health Ambassador to help reduce gender health inequality was announced, and the full strategy will be laid out in the spring this year.
The document outlined how the call for evidence had found that the topic of fertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss and post-natal suport was the most selected topic picked for inclusion in the Women’s Health Strategy for respondents aged 30-39. It was the second most selected overall.
Responses and submissions covered a wide range of topics around this area, including the devastating effects of pregnancy loss and stillbirth, as well as support for expectant and new mothers and their partners. Patient experience and safety was also important to those answering the call for safety.
The vision also talked about disparities in maternal healthcare, with Black and Asian women being more likely than White women to die during pregnancy and childbirth. There was also a call for women of Black and Asian ethnicity to be recruited and considered for future research, to make sure that outcomes benefited all women in society.
Our CEO, Angela McConville, said: “We’re very pleased our NCT community made a strong response to the call for evidence. It’s good to see the strong focus on reducing maternal and neonatal disparities.”
You can look at the full Vision for the Women’s Health Strategy for England here.