FSRH welcomes announcements on the Women’s Health Strategy and sets out establishment of FSRH Hatfield Vision Taskforce Implementation Working Groups

Posted 26 July 2023

Date: 26 Jul 2023

Type: FSRH Press Releases and Statements

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced new measures to improve the health of women and girls, in connection with the one-year anniversary of the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy being published. FSRH welcomes these announcements, which support the ambition of the FSRH Hatfield Vision to significantly reduce sexual health inequalities for women and girls by 2030. It comes as initial implementation working groups for the FSRH Hatfield Vision Taskforce are established following the inaugural meeting of the Taskforce last month.

DHSC has announced a number of new measures, including support for the impacts of pregnancy loss and a new dedicated area for women’s health on the NHS website. Further details have also been shared on the distribution of the £25 million funding to aid the formation of women’s health hubs.

Amongst the announcements is a new network of women’s health champions, initiated by the Women’s Health Ambassador for England Dame Lesley Regan. The network is co-chaired by NHS England and consists of senior leaders across each Integrated Care System (ICS). The women’s health champions will use their expertise and knowledge to push forward improvements in the health of women and girls.

This announcement delivers against one of the key actions of the FSRH Hatfield Vision, FSRH’s  framework outlining what needs to be achieved by 2030 to significantly reduce sexual and reproductive health inequalities for women. This is welcome and significant progress against Action 6 of the Vision, which calls for a women’s health lead to be appointed within ICSs.

Following the inaugural meeting of the FSRH Hatfield Vision Taskforce last month, which – along with senior stakeholders from Government – brought together representatives from the nearly 50 organisations endorsing the Vision, implementation working groups are now being established to help deliver the goals of the Vision.

The first three working groups to be initiated are focused on:

·       Improving access to emergency contraception

·       Improving access to post-pregnancy contraception and enabling collaborative commissioning

·       Ensuring universal access to free menstrual products within health services and schools

These groups will harness the collective strength of Taskforce members from across the reproductive health sector, as well as the respective expertise within individual member organisations.

Dr Janet Barter, President of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), said:

“One year on from the publication of the Women’s Health Strategy, we strongly welcome these announcements – particularly the establishment of a network of women’s health champions.

We are delighted to see progress being made against specific goals of the FSRH Hatfield Vision, helping us – and the 49 organisations who have come to board to support this work – to deliver against our ambition of significantly improving reproductive health inequalities by 2030. The FSRH Hatfield Vision Taskforce is an important step in reaching this ambition, as our newly established working groups will harness sector-wide expertise to bring the goals of the Vision into reality.

We look forward to continuing to work with the Government and our partners to support the implementation of the Women’s Health Strategy and to help deliver the FSRH Hatfield Vision.”

You can read DHSC’s announcement on the new Women’s Health Strategy measures here.

You can read about the work of the FSRH Hatfield Vision here.