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Updated Scottish Government Women’s Health Plan

An important update on Scottish Government plans to improve support for women's health in Scotland was issued this week in response to a question from my fellow parliamentarian, Gillian Martin.

Gillian Martin (Aberdeenshire East) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made with the Programme for Government commitment to the development of a Women’s Health Plan.

S5W-36021

Clare HaugheyThe Scottish Government is making good progress with the development of a Women’s Health Plan. The aim of the plan is to reduce women’s health inequalities by raising awareness around women's health and improving access to healthcare for women throughout life. The present Government plans for it to be published later in 2021. 

The Scottish Government has made progress to implement early actions in advance of publication, to improve information and support for women. A priority of the plan is to improve access for women to appropriate support, speedy diagnosis and best treatment for endometriosis. In 2020-21 the Scottish Government has invested £25,000 in work being led by Endometriosis UK to inform how reduction in diagnosis time can be achieved including timeframes and targets. An endometriosis collaborative forum has been established to support policy development in this area and members of the forum include representatives from patient support groups. Third sector representatives and clinicians have also helped to review NHS Inform pages relating to endometriosis. The pages have recently been updated to ensure information is accurate, accessible and supportive.

A Menopause Specialists Network has been established and is meeting regularly online. The Network is supporting primary care teams, by providing access to a menopause specialist for advice, support, onward referral, leadership and training. 

In addition, work has begun to develop a comprehensive women’s health information platform on NHS Inform and two women’s health information campaigns have been launched on the NHS Inform website, one in relation to women’s general health throughout different life stages. The second campaign, launched in February to mark heart health awareness month, aimed to raise awareness of importance of heart health for women and encouraged women to know the signs and symptoms of heart attack, heart disease in pregnancy and other heart conditions which predominantly affect women.

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