Government urges women to share their experience and help shape Women’s Health Strategy

By Lydia O'Neill on 28 May 2021

The Royal College of Midwives welcomes the Government’s call for women of all ages and backgrounds in the UK to share their experiences of healthcare in a national survey. The results will be used to shape the Women’s Health Strategy, designed to improve health and wellbeing outcomes.

The call for evidence seeks to examine experiences of the whole health and care system, including mental health, addiction services and neurological conditions as well as issues relating specifically to women such as pregnancy, post-natal support and gynaecological conditions.

RCM Executive Director, Midwife Birte Harlev-Lam said: "Putting the woman’s voice at the centre of women’s health is essential in the pursuit of improving disproportionate outcomes. On International Day of Action for Women’s Heath, the Government’s call for women’s experience is a great step forward. Not only does it empower women to inform policy around their own healthcare, their own bodies and their own lives – it is a great step forward in focussing a lens on the socio-economic factors that impact women who are at risk.

"As maternity staff we are strong advocates for women’s health and work around the clock knowing that good care comes from recognising the precise needs of the person accessing our care. This is a chance for the Government to walk in the shoes of women, find out what they need but it will also be a step in the shoes of maternity and find out what we need to better support them."  

So far there have been over 50,000 responses from women, organisations, clinicians and carers to the Department of Health and Social Care survey. However early analysis shows women from the Midlands and East of England, those from Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds, and over-50s are underrepresented in sharing their experiences. This representation is necessary to ensure the strategy works for all women.

You can access the survey here.