Woman talking to a serious businesswoman depicting how endometriosis affects people in the workplace and women's health

Endometriosis, diabetes and obesity to feature in £12m govt barriers-to-employment studies

The government has awarded £12.4m to six “ground-breaking” pilots which will seek to better understand some of the biggest barriers to employment in the UK.

Endometriosis will be the focus of a “first-of-its-kind” initiative with the Office for National Statistics – an investigation will be launched into how the condition affects women’s participation and progression in the workforce. The project will inform future government support plans for women.

Endometriosis costs the UK economy £8.2bn annually in treatment, healthcare costs and loss of work.

Maria Caulfield, the minister for the women’s health strategy, said: “Through the Women’s Health Strategy we have set an ambition for all women and girls with severe endometriosis to experience better care, with reduced waiting times for diagnosis and providing funding for key research into the condition.”

She continued: “The support doesn’t stop at health, and today’s announcement demonstrates how we’re taking a cross-government approach to help women with endometriosis get back to living their best lives.”

A second pilot will centre around whether programmes that aim to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity can improve people’s ability to join the labour market. This will include a review of the NHS’s diabetes prevention programme.

Approximately 3.8 million people in the UK have type 2 diabetes, which accounts for around 90% of the incidence.

It is estimated that diabetes as a whole costs the health service £1.5m an hour – the equivalent of 10% of the NHS budget for England and Wales.

Image credit: iStock

NHE March/April 2024

NHE March/April 2024

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