Girl power

First ever Women’s Health Ambassador appointed

Professor Dame Lesley Regan has been appointed as the new Women’s Health Ambassador, who will look to support the implementation of the upcoming Women’s Health Strategy.

Professor Dame Regan’s wealth of experience and expertise encompasses a 42-year career in women’s health, including vested interests in gynaecology, the menopause, miscarriage, and period problems.

The new role will not affect her current position as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College London St Mary’s Hospital Campus and she will also look to remain in active practice.

Women’s Health Ambassador, Dame Lesley Regan, said: “Having spent my career working with and caring for women, it is a great honour to be appointed as Women’s Health Ambassador for the first government-led women’s health strategy in England.

“This is an important opportunity to get it right for women and girls, and make a real difference to 51% of our population by addressing the inequalities that exist across society.

“I look forward to working with women, girls, health services, charities, policy makers, the government and other key partners to implement this strategy.”

The announcement of the new Women’s Health Ambassador will be followed by the announcement of a deputy ambassador, who will help Professor Dame Regan battle health inequalities affecting women and girls up and down the country, as well as raise awareness for the imminent Women’s Health Strategy.

The strategy aims to build on the government’s mission to ensure:

  • That all women feel comfortable talking about their health and no longer face taboos when they do talk about their health.
  • That women can access services that meet their needs across the life course
  • That all women will have access to high-quality information and education from childhood through to adulthood
  • That all women feel supported in the workplace and can reach their full potential at work
  • To embed routine collection of demographic data of participants in research trials to make sure that our research reflects the society we serve

Minister for Women’s Health, Maria Caulfield, said: “Since we launched our Women’s Health call for evidence over a year ago, we have made great progress in raising the profile of women’s health. From the formation of the UK-wide menopause taskforce and publication of our vision document, to legislating to ban hymenoplasty and virginity testing and appointing a chair of the HRT taskforce to help more menopausal women access this lifeline medication.

“The appointment of Dame Lesley as the Women’s Health Ambassador for England is yet another step in the right direction to giving women’s health the platform and profile it needs.

“We are embarking on an important journey to eradicate the gender health gap. There is no quick fix. But I look forward to working together with Dame Lesley as we take the next steps to implement our women’s health strategy and beyond.”

This is the latest measure the NHS has taken to tackle women’s health inequalities, including the implementation of a new HRT Taskforce as we reported in April.

More information about the appointment is available here.

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