Championing SRH Care and Influencing Government Policy - Jane Hatfield, CEO of FSRH

Posted 04 Sep 2018

Date: 04 Sep 2018

Author: Jane Hatfield - CEO of FSRH

When I speak to Faculty members, they sometimes ask me why we aren’t doing more to champion SRH care and influence government policy. And my answer is that we are! However some of this is done very much behind the scenes, often by our Officers.

CEO FSRH Jane HatfieldOne example of a recent change that we influenced was the government’s announcement that women in England will be allowed to take the second of two early medical abortion pills in their own home by the end of this year. Scotland and Wales have already introduced this long overdue change (with 8 out of 10 women in Scotland choosing this route when offered it). However the government in England proved more cautious. Our President, Asha Kasliwal, took the opportunity during recent site visits with the then Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Jeremy Hunt MP – to discuss this issue with him. These conversations, along with follow up information from the Faculty - and partnership working with the RCOG - helped to reassure the Government that this would be a safe and compassionate change to introduce for women.

 

Since the FSRH has been a member of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and has invested a small amount of its expenditure in external affairs and influencing, we are finding that sexual and reproductive health is being discussed and noticed both in UK governments but also in leadership bodies such as Public Health England and NHS England. The more that SRH is recognised in our national health and social care strategies the more it is noticed when funding cuts impact on SRH services. There is, of course, no quick fix to the years of underfunding of Local Authorities and the NHS – this lack of investment and cuts have impacted disproportionately on SRH/contraception access. But with the help of our members we are making progress. Please continue to tell us what is happening in your service – whether that it primary care or more specialist services – your case studies and your stories form the basis of our influence – and we are being listened to.

Jane

The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare believes women should be able to access safe and legal abortion wherever they live in the UK. This includes support for use of abortion medication at home or a place of the woman’s choice.
"FSRH also believes it is a fundamental right for men and women living in the UK to have access to the full range of contraceptive methods. Our vision is a UK where a rights-based approach to contraceptive care is designed around the needs of the individual and is of high-quality irrespective of the care setting in which it is delivered."
“Allowing women to take misoprostol at home is a question of patient safety as evidence suggests. A recent study reporting on the experience of 28.000 women who had had an early medical abortion in a year showed how much of a challenge it is for women to go back to a clinic for the second dose of the abortion medication.

“The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare believes women should be able to access safe and legal abortion wherever they live in the UK. This includes support for use of abortion medication at home or a place of the woman’s choice. "FSRH also believes it is a fundamental right for men and women living in the UK to have access to the full range of contraceptive methods. Our vision is a UK where a rights-based approach to contraceptive care is designed around the needs of the individual and is of high-quality irrespective of the care setting in which it is delivered."
“Allowing women to take misoprostol at home is a question of patient safety as evidence suggests. A recent study reporting on the experience of 28.000 women who had had an early medical abortion in a year showed how much of a challenge it is for women to go back to a clinic for the second dose of the abortion medication.