Women across England are set to benefit from improved access to healthcare after the Government announced a £25m expansion to women’s health hubs.
The investment will centre around streamlining women’s health services and addressing fragmentation in provision – the new hubs are also expected to help the NHS by alleviating pressure on secondary care services and boosting access to preventative care.
Women’s health minister, Maria Caulfield, said: “Women make up 51% of the population and should not be an afterthought in healthcare. Better access to specialist services is key to tackling health inequalities – the £25m funding will create new women’s health hubs providing specialist care and advice to women across the country.
“We are making excellent headway to meet our commitments set out in England’s first ever Women’s Health Strategy, aiming to boost the health and wellbeing of women and girls.”
The expansion of women’s health hubs was a key pledge made in the first ever Women’s Health Strategy for England, which originally aimed to have at least one in every Integrated Care System.
The Government say it is working in partnership with stakeholders across the health sector to create the resources necessary to help support the development of women’s health hubs; this will include guidance on what potential care pathways local health systems can adopt, case studies, cost-benefit analysis and a best practice guide, which is all set to be published in due course.
Women’s Health Ambassador, Professor Dame Lesley Regan, added: “As a practicing gynaecologist, I have first-hand experience of how important it is for women to have easy access to the right care when they need it.
“Although a woman’s health needs change during her life course, most of them are predictable. It is crucial that we provide her with the best information and support at each and every stage of her journey.
“Women’s health hubs offer us the opportunity to provide holistic care – including contraception, help with period problems, early pregnancy problems, pelvic pain, menopause and cancer screening. Timely access to high quality services will help to build women’s confidence in the healthcare system.”