Event: First ever Parliamentary Women's Health Conference

The WHAPPG are proud to have hosted the first ever Women’s Health Conference in Parliament to mark the month of International Women’s Day. 

The Conference took place on Thursday 22nd March 2018 to raise the profile of women’s health and surrounding issues within parliament and brought together MPs, patient groups, industry, clinical experts and many others for three panel discussions on prominent topics surrounding women’s health:

  • 'Rationing of women’s health services' with Paula Sherriff MP, Councillor Jonathan McShane, Dr Priya Agrawal, Dr Anatole Menon-Johansson, and Dr Christian Jessen.
  • 'Is this normal?' with Liz McInnes MP, Dr Anne Connolly, Manjit Gill, Athena Lamnisos, Dr Ellie Cannon, and Chella Quint.
  • 'How are women treated in the NHS?' with Paula Sherriff MP, Dr Sarah Clarke, Dr Ghada Mikhail, Professor Erika Denton, and Katie Piper.

Together, panelists and attendees discussed health issues pertinent to women and how to tackle these. The conference also heard from Jackie Doyle-Price, Minister for Women's Health and Matt Tagney, NHS England.

There was also a showcase by patient groups such as Breast Cancer Care, Endometriosis UK, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust, Ovarian Cancer Action, Pelvic Pain Support Network, Verity and Period Positive who displayed the amazing work being undertaken to support women to make informed choices about their healthcare. 

The Conference embodied the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health aim of empowering women to ensure that they can make an informed choice about the best treatment for them and that they are treated with dignity and respect at all times. The WHAPPG is determined to improve the care women receive for their health, and hope attendees agreed this forum of ideas, discussion and action in Parliament was a key part do this journey.

The WHAPPG are looking forward on #WHAPPG2019. 

Report Roundtable: Informed Choice Report follow up

On 17th October 2017, the WHAPPG hosted a parliamentary roundtable to discuss the Group's Informed Choice Report and decide how best to take its recommendations forward.

The roundtable provided a useful forum which brought together key stakeholders who are best placed to influence and take forward the report's recommendations.

Of the event, Paula Sherriff MP, Chair of the WHAPPG said "I hope that through working together we will be able to ensure the issues raised within the report are addressed and women’s lives are improved."

Attendees included Dr Matthew Jolly - Clinical Director for Maternity Review and Women's Health at NHS England, Dr Anne Mackie - Director of Screening at Public Health England, Wendy Norton - Royal College of Nursing, Judy Shakespeare - Royal College of General Practitioners and Lesley Regan - Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Patient representatives also attended and gave their input on how best to improve care for patients with fibroids and endometriosis.

To request minutes from this meeting, please email APPGWH@mailpbconsulting.com

AGM: WHAPPG holds election of officers

Following the snap General Election which took place on June 8th 2017, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women's Health is delighted to announce it has successfully held it's Annual General Meeting in which the following Members of Parliament were elected as officers of the group:

  1. Paula Sherriff MP - Chair
  2. Paul Scully MP - Vice-Chair
  3. Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP - Vice-Chair
  4. Liz McInnes MP - Vice-Chair
  5. Jess Phillips MP - Vice-Chair
  6. Colleen Fletcher MP - Vice-Chair
  7. Alison Thewliss MP - Vice-Chair

The Group looks forward to working to raise issues of women's health over the course of the next parliament. 

Notice: General Election 2017

Please note that from 3rd May until 8th June 2017 the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women's Health will not be active, due to the dissolution of Government for the General Election. 

In adherence with the rules on All-Party Parliamentary Groups, while the House is dissolved there are no Members of Parliament and therefore this Group ceases to be an All-Party Parliamentary Group for this period. 

Therefore, this website, and other APPG communication channels, will not be updated until after the Election on 8th June.
 

Report Launch: Informed Choice? Giving women control of their healthcare

Report Launch: Informed Choice? Giving women control of their healthcare

The first report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health (WHAPPG) in the UK highlights insufficient care and concern for women with endometriosis and fibroids. If you would like to download a copy of the report you can do so here

The WHAPPG has found that women are not treated with dignity, are not provided with sufficient information about their treatment options, and are not told about treatment side-effects appropriately when counselled about their gynaecological health.

In a survey of over 2600 women (with endometriosis and fibroids):

  • 42% of women said that they were not treated with dignity and respect
  • 62% of women were not satisfied with the information that they received about treatment options for endometriosis and fibroids
  • Nearly 50% of women with endometriosis and fibroids were not told about the short term or long term complications from the treatment options provided to them.

The report, which will be presented this afternoon (Monday 27th March 2017) by the Group in Parliament, reveals how these women were treated across the pathway, some of the barriers that they faced in getting a diagnosis and treatment, and the complete lack of control and choice they were offered over their own care. 

Recommendations

  1. Information resources – women need to be offered written information on gynaecological issues with a full range of information about the condition and what their options are. These leaflets should be endorsed by the relevant clinical bodies and patient groups and the same generic, pre-approved leaflets should be made available at all centres, Trusts and gynaecology clinics. GPs, secondary care clinicians and nurses should provide or signpost women to high quality information and resources about endometriosis and fibroids, their impact and treatment options.
  2. Endorsed best practice pathway – this would mean that women would be streamlined more quickly into the right care, saving costs from unplanned admissions and ensuring women get access to all treatments. This should be agreed by the relevant Royal Colleges and patient groups.
  3. Education to include menstrual health at secondary schools along with wider awareness – far too often women put up with symptoms and incredible pain because they are not aware of what is ‘normal’ and they feel stigmatised by talking about ‘women’s problems’. Education modules should be included at the RCGP and RCOG for recognising and treating fibroids and endometriosis.
  4. Multi-disciplinary teams and clinicians working together – to ensure access to all treatments for women. Best practice pathway should be followed in this regard.
  5. NICE Guidance where it exists should be followed. These should not be implemented variably across the country as is currently the situation.

 

Save the Date: Informed Choice Inquiry - Report Launch

Save the Date: Informed Choice Inquiry - Report Launch

Following an oral evidence session and a call for evidence, the WHAPPG can announce it will be launching it's report into informed choice on Monday 27th March 2017 in Parliament.

The report follows an inquiry into whether women are given an informed choice about the treatment options available for particular conditions, in particular endometriosis and fibroids.
 
The group has produced a report which assesses whether women are given an informed choice about treatment options and outlines what further improvements need to be made. 

If you would be interested in attending the launch of this report, or would like any further information about the inquiry or the group’s work more generally, please contact appgwh@mailpbconsulting.com.

Informed Choice Inquiry – Oral Evidence Session

Informed Choice Inquiry – Oral Evidence Session

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women's Health held an oral evidence session on Wednesday 18th January in the Macmillan Room, Portcullis House. The purpose of the session was to gather evidence for an inquiry the group has launched into whether women are given an informed choice about the treatment options available for endometriosis and fibroids.

The group heard from experts about current practice as well as potential barriers and issues, with the aim of understanding what key recommendations the group can take forwards. 

Speakers included:

  • Paula Sherriff MP, Chair of the APPG on Women’s Health
  • Anne Little, fibroids patient
  • Dr Anne Deans, Consultant Gynaecologist, Frimley Park Hospital, fibroids clinician
  • Carol Pearson, endometriosis patient

There were three Q&A sessions, in which attendees discussed what the current situation is, what the key barriers are, what a best practice pathway may look like,  and possible recommendations for the report.

Calling All Patients Suffering from Fibroids or Endometriosis

Calling All Patients Suffering from Fibroids or Endometriosis

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health has launched an inquiry into whether women are given an informed choice about the treatment options available for particular conditions.  The group aims to empower women to ensure that they can make an informed choice about the best treatment for them and that they are treated with dignity and respect.               

Endometriosis and fibroids are conditions the group would like to shine a particular spotlight on and so would like to hear from patients about their own experience of living with each condition and accessing treatment.

If you have been suffering with endometriosis we would welcome your participation in the group’s endometriosis survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/informed-choice-endometriosis

If you have been suffering with fibroids we would welcome your participation in the group’s fibroids survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/fibroids-informed-choice

The group aims to use the findings from this inquiry to produce a report which will assess if women are given an informed choice about treatment options and outline what further improvements might need to be made. 

All responses will remain anonymous. If you would like to receive more information on the inquiry or the group’s work more generally please contact appgwh@pbpoliticalconsulting.com.

Submissions for this call for evidence were closed on Monday 27th February 2017.

All-Party Parliamentary Group Launch

All-Party Parliamentary Group Launch

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Women’s Health was officially launched on 8th June 2016 in Portcullis House, Westminster.

Approximately 80 people attended the launch event, which brought together numerous parliamentarians, clinicians and representatives from the Department of Health, Royal Colleges, patient groups, as well as other stakeholders all interested in the establishment of a dedicated forum at Westminster to discuss women’s health.

Paula Sherriff MP, Chair of the newly established group, opened proceedings highlighting that whilst there were a range of APPGs focusing on different issues in health, this group would help provide a specific, and much needed, focus on women’s experience of healthcare and health conditions that only or often disproportionally affect women.

The group were delighted to be joined by several high profile female public figures on the day who each spoke briefly to attendees about their interest in the establishment of the group and why they support the group’s aim to empower women to ensure that they can make an informed choice about the best treatment for them and that they are treated with dignity and respect.

Katie Piper, a former model turned campaigner who was subject to an acid attack, spoke about her experience of the NHS. She said that retaining dignity in hospital was difficult for even the most powerful of women and spoke of the importance of protecting against dehumanisation during treatment. Ms Piper concluded that every woman would need the NHS at some point, so it was important they knew they would be respected and made aware of the options available to them.

Writer and equality campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez highlighted that although people expect science to be objective, it is often affected by similar gender bias often commonplace in politics and other settings. She spoke of women’s health issues being often perceived as niche, therefore attracting less funding and research. She also raised the issue of women suffering misdiagnosis due to a lack of awareness of how symptoms for common conditions may differ from symptoms experienced by men.

Journalist and TV personality Angela Rippon also spoke and stressed the need for greater awareness. She called for better education on women’s health in schools to increase awareness, which would also help to decrease the embarrassment that many women felt in talking about or seeking help for any health problems. She said the APPG needed to encourage the medical profession to listen to women and make them feel empowered.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Gina Radford was the final speaker and stressed that conversations need to be framed around women’s health needs rather than ‘women’s problems’. Dr Radford reiterated the need for greater openness and awareness in order to help women have more control over their health. Dr Radford concluded that women, the 51 per cent of the population, needed 51 per cent of the collective voice.

Informal networking followed the speaker segment and attendees were encouraged to give the group suggestions on issues they felt the group should focus on by writing their thoughts down on post-it notes and adding them to boards set up in the room.

The group was delighted to see so many people interested in women’s health issues in attendance and supportive of the group and its aims. The Group looks forward to campaigning on women’s health issues moving forwards and highlighting that women’s health needs must be prioritised across the country going forwards.

View photos from the event in our Gallery: http://www.appgwomenshealth.org/new-gallery/