First Women’s Health Strategy for England to tackle Gender Health Gap published

Women and girls across England are set to benefit from improved healthcare following the publication of the first ever government-led Women’s Health Strategy for England today (Wednesday 20 July).

  • Major new research on women’s health issues to increase understanding of female specific health conditions and tackle the data gap to ensure diagnosis and treatment work for women.
  • Ensuring all doctors are trained to provide the best care to women by introducing mandatory specific teaching and assessment on women’s health for all incoming graduating medical students and incoming doctors.  
  • £10 million for breast screening programme to provide 25 new mobile breast screening units for areas with the greatest challenges of screening uptake.

Following a call for evidence which generated almost 100,000 responses from individuals across England, and building on the Government’s Vision for Women’s Health, the strategy hopes to tackle deep rooted, systemic issues within the health and care system to improve the health and wellbeing of women.

There are key commitments around new research and data gathering, the expansion of women’s health-focused education and training for incoming doctors improvements to fertility services, ensuring women have access to high quality health information and updating guidance for female specific health conditions like endometriosis to ensure the latest evidence and advice is being used in treatment. 

Women live on average for longer than men but spend more of their life in poor health, often limiting their ability to work and participate in day to day activities. Closing the gender health gap and supporting women to live well will not only benefit the health and wellbeing of women, but the health of the economy.

Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Health and Social Care and Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Lucy Chappell said: 

“The gender health gap stems from a range of factors. Over the years we have seen less research into health conditions that affect women and this gender data gap has had a significant contribution on the impact of such research. 

“The NIHR has made good progress in this area, from increased research on conditions such as endometriosis, boosting participation of women in trials and supporting female researchers. 

“The publication of this strategy builds on that progress and will help ensure women’s voices and priorities are at the heart of research.”