This strategy presents an opportunity to address and improve women’s health, making sure all women’s voices are heard and inequalities are understood and addressed. However, long term sustainable funding and a real terms increase in the public health budget are required.
Commenting on the publication of the Government’s Women’s Health Strategy, Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board said:
“We’re pleased that this strategy is building a greater focus on women’s health, including understanding and acting on persisting inequalities and women’s experiences of the health and care system.
“It is positive to see the Government encouraging the expansion of Women’s Health Hubs to bring essential women’s services together to support women to maintain good health.
“There are major inequalities within women’s health, with women born in the least deprived areas spending almost twenty years less in good health than those in the least deprived areas
“There has never been a greater need for organisations to work together, pooling expertise and resources in a collaborative approach. In doing so the interrelated needs of service users are recognised and put at the heart of the commissioning process.
“Although it is important that the strategy states that women should have access to high quality sexual and reproductive health, funding for these council commissioned services has declined significantly in recent years. This is as a result of the public health grant being cut almost a quarter in real terms between over the last seven years and an almost 20 per cent decrease of contraceptive spend in real terms since 2015.
“This strategy presents an opportunity to address and improve women’s health, making sure all women’s voices are heard and inequalities are understood and addressed. However, long term sustainable funding and a real terms increase in the public health budget are required to rectify past cuts and help councils and their partners deliver an integrated and comprehensive approach to improving women’s sexual and reproductive health.”