Improving Women's Health and Care in England

Event date: 28 September 2022 8.30am to 4.00pm

Location: online

Westminster Health Forum policy conference taking place online

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with
Maria Caulfield MP, Minister of the State for Health, Department of Health and Social Care

Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Ambassador for Women’s Health, Department of Health and Social Care; and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College London

Dr Edward Morris, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Professor Shakila Thangaratinam, Professor of Perinatal and Maternal Health and Joint Director of WHO Global Collaborating Centre for Women’s Health, University of Birmingham; and Founder, Dame Hilda Lloyd Network

and

Emma Brech, The Maya Centre; Jay Breslaw, Survivor’s Network; Louise Buchanan, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust; Dr Anne Connolly, Primary Care Women’s Health Forum; and Bevan Healthcare; Professor Emma Crosbie, University of Manchester; and National Cancer Research Institute; Karen Downing, Women’s Health Information and Support Centre; Dr Holly Essex, University of York; Dr Jane Hamlin, Beaumont Society; Haitham Hamoda, British Menopause Society; Dr Jeeva John, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Global Health Governance Programme; Professor Geeta Nargund, St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust; Dr Anita Sharma, South Chadderton Health Centre; Dr Clare Stephens, North Central London Cancer Alliance; and The Speedwell Practice; and Dr Nicola Weaver, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group

This conference focuses on the next steps for improving women’s health outcomes and service delivery.

It will be an opportunity to examine the recently published Women’s Health Strategy for England - and what will be necessary if the ambitions it outlines are to be achieved in the focus areas of menstrual and gynaecological health, fertility and pregnancy, menopause, long-term conditions and the impacts of violence on health.

We also expect wider discussion on priorities for government policy under a new prime minister.

We are pleased to be able to include keynote addresses with Maria Caulfield MP, Minister of the State for Health, Department of Health and Social Care; and Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College London - who has been appointed as the DHSC’s Ambassador for Women’s Health to support the implementation of the strategy and to help drive efforts to reduce the gender health gap.

Further keynote speakers include: Dr Edward Morris, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; and Professor Shakila Thangaratinam, Professor of Perinatal and Maternal Health and Joint Director of WHO Global Collaborating Centre for Women’s Health, University of Birmingham; and Founder, Dame Hilda Lloyd Network.

Overall areas for discussion include:

  • the strategy - scope and emphasis - implementation - the leadership and accountability to achieve progress
  • service development - improving diagnosis - integration - tackling variation in access and other areas of inequality
  • stigma - improvement of the first points of contact in primary care
  • sexual and reproductive health - care and support across the life cycle - diagnosis rates - accessibility of services and information - patient-centred approaches
  • research - areas of focus for women’s health - improving the data and the evidence base
  • inequalities - tackling disparities in health outcomes - building a responsive environment for women’s health concerns
  • workforce education - priorities for development and a focus on women’s health issues

[jump to more detail on the discussion]

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from the DHSC; MHRA; Cabinet Office; DCMS; OHID; and The Scottish Government - as well as parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Lords.

The agenda:

Draft subject to change

8.30

Registration

 

 

9.00

Chair’s opening remarks

Senior Parliamentarian

 

 

9.05

Policy priorities for women’s health and the role of key stakeholders

Maria Caulfield MP, Minister of State for Health, Department of Health and Social Care

 

 

9.20

Delivering on ambitions set out in the Vision for the Women’s Health Strategy

Professor Dame Lesley Regan, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College London; and Ambassador for Women’s Health, Department of Health and Social Care

 

 

9.35

Questions and comments from the floor

 

 

9.50

Break

 

 

9.55

Service development and delivery - improving diagnosis and referrals for women with major health conditions, joining up services and overcoming variations in delivery, and addressing inequalities in accessibility to services

Dr Clare Stephens, Clinical Co-director, North Central London Cancer Alliance; and GP Partner, The Speedwell Practice

Dr Nicola Weaver, General Practitioner and Macmillan GP Clinical Cancer Lead for Southwark, NHS South East London Clinical Commissioning Group

Dr Holly Essex, Research Fellow, Health Services and Policy Research Group, University of York

Louise Buchanan, Consultant Cardiologist, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust

Questions and comments from the floor

 

 

10.35

‘The need for a life cycle approach to women’s sexual and reproductive health in the UK’

Dr Edward Morris, President, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

 

 

10.45

Achieving effective reproductive healthcare for women of all ages - holistic and accessible local services, patient-centred care delivery, faster diagnosis and access to treatments, and informative resources

Haitham Hamoda, President, British Menopause Society

Dr Anita Sharma, GP with Special Interest in Women’s Health, South Chadderton Health Centre

Professor Emma Crosbie, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, University of Manchester; and Deputy Chair, Screening, Prevention and Early Diagnosis Group, National Cancer Research Institute

Professor Geeta Nargund, Senior Consultant Gynaecologist and Lead Consultant for Reproductive Medicine, St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

 

 

11.05

Questions and comments from the floor

 

 

11.20

Chair’s closing remarks

Senior Parliamentarian

 

 

11.25

Break

 

 

11.35

Chair’s opening remarks

Senior Parliamentarian

 

 

11.40

Priorities for addressing stigma, improving first points of contact within primary care, and developing workforce education around women-specific health issues

Dr Anne Connolly, Chair, Primary Care Women’s Health Forum; and GP, Bevan Healthcare

Karen Downing, Manager, Women’s Health Information and Support Centre

 

 

11.50

Building an inclusive and responsive healthcare environment for all women’s health concerns and tackling disparities in women’s health outcomes

Jay Breslaw, Chief Executive Officer, Survivor’s Network

Dr Jane Hamlin, President, Beaumont Society

Emma Brech, Chief Executive, The Maya Centre

Dr Jeeva John, Specialty Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Researcher, Global Health Governance Programme

 

 

12.10

Questions and comments from the floor

 

 

12.25

Break

 

 

12.30

Next steps for women’s health research - opportunities for improving data and the evidence base

Professor Shakila Thangaratinam, Professor of Perinatal and Maternal Health and Joint Director of WHO Global Collaborating Centre for Women’s Health, University of Birmingham; and Founder, Dame Hilda Lloyd Network

Questions and comments from the floor

 

 

12.55

Chair’s and Westminster Health Forum closing remarks

Senior Parliamentarian

Jessica Lear, Producer, Westminster Health Forum

 

Additional senior participants are being approached, but if you or a colleague would like to be considered as a speaker at this seminar, please contact us at speakeroffers@forumsupport.co.uk specifying the event and session where you would like to speak and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are offering to speak yourself please don’t fill in the booking form, as this will be taken as an order and you will be charged for a place subject to our T&Cs.

Relevant developments:

-          The Women’s Health Strategy for England - the strategy from the DHSC lays out the 10-year plan for improving the health of women and girls in England, addressing key areas such as:

o    menstrual and gynaecological health

o    fertility and pregnancy

o    menopause

o    long-term conditions

o    the health impacts of violence

-          The appointment of an Ambassador for Women’s Health - Dame Lesley Regan appointed by the DHSC to support the implementation of the strategy and to drive efforts to reduce the gender health gap

-          Sexual health strategy - currently being developed by the Government as a separate publication

-          Levelling Up White Paper - which includes the aim of producing a health disparities White Paper later this year

-          Health and Care Act - aiming to improve the integration of local health and social care and to support the development of services that are designed around local patient needs

-          New maternity disparities taskforce - set up by the UK Government to address disparities for ethnic minority women and those from deprived areas

-          The Future of UK Clinical Research Delivery - developed by the UK Government and devolved administrations, including aims to improve diversity and participation in clinical trials

-          Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report - produced by Baroness Cumberlege, recommending how the health system can respond better to patient safety concerns

Key areas for discussion:

Strategy implementation

  • targets - setting goals - key steps for enabling progress on the strategy’s themes
  • national and local leadership - assessing implementation of the strategy - establishing accountability - the role of a new women’s health ambassador
  • measuring progress - establishing milestones for the improvement of health outcomes for women
  • patient experience - use of lived experience to inform the development of the health strategy and implementation
  • joined-up policy - support and coordination for women’s health needs across the range of government initiatives

Prevention and service development

  • screening - cancer, heart disease, and other areas - stories services - workforce challenges - investment - innovation to address capacity, accuracy, diagnosis times, and accessibility
  • hesitancy - addressing barriers to screenings - understanding and cultural sensitivities - improving explanation of procedure - addressing language barriers
  • cardiac disease - heart attack care pathways - women-specific risk factors and individual responses to care - awareness around menstruation, contraception, and pregnancy
  • local services:
    • priorities for primary care and joining up services - commissioning - learning from and sharing best practice - improving accessibility
    • identifying risk factors and improving referrals - effective healthcare management for women with multiple conditions

Sexual and reproductive healthcare

  • tackling backlogs - funding and resource priorities for gynaecological screenings and care resulting from COVID-19 disruption
  • the new life-cycle approach - assessment of the measures needed to enable effective, proactive and preventive healthcare - development of more responsive care - support at different life stages
  • endometriosis - next steps for improving diagnosis and treatment
  • menopause - improving education on the effects on health - support for conversations between patients and health professionals
  • fertility difficulties and pregnancy loss - how support and information can be improved and made more accessible
  • women’s health hubs - their potential for supporting women at different stages of their lives and how can it be achieved

Training and best practice

  • primary care - developing toolkits and best practice for GPs - improving support at different life stages
  • wider workforce education and training - opportunities for improvement to reflect changes in the approach to women’s health
  • co-production - involving women in their care decisions - understanding symptoms, needs, and lifestyle - enabling appropriate individual care pathways
  • school - the role of improving public awareness around menstrual health in tackling stigma

Inclusive healthcare and tackling disparities in outcomes

  • pregnancy and maternity - tackling disparities in outcomes - personalised care - targeting support for vulnerable groups - improving awareness and education around maternal healthcare
  • mental health - improving understanding of issues affecting women - social and economic risk factors - life events - hormonal changes - informing referrals, treatment and prevention
  • ethnicity and culture - addressing barriers to access to healthcare and disparities in treatment
  • marginalised women:
    • learning from lived experience - care for those with intersectional challenges
    • shaping services based on improved understanding of challenges faced in access and use of the healthcare system
  • victims of violence - the role of primary care in supporting and identifying victims - effective response to address the impact on the victim’s health
  • transgender individuals - developing an inclusive healthcare environment - support for access and experience of routine and organ-specific healthcare - inclusion within prevention and screening
  • social determinants - improving integrated care and work in local systems - options for national leadership and policy coordination

Health research

  • the evidence base - priority areas of focus - addressing gaps - building understanding and best practice in care delivery across the strategic themes
  • learning from the pandemic - understanding experiences of pregnant women and their uptake of the vaccine to inform future approaches to vaccination and health outcomes during pregnancy
  • clinical trials - gender bias - improving data around women’s responses to major health conditions - the impact of medication - differing responses to women’s health issues across ethnic groups

Booking arrangements:

To book places, please use our online booking form.