We want to hear women’s views on health and care

Women in Suffolk and north east Essex are being asked to give their views on whether their voices are being heard and appropriate focus is placed on women-specific health issues.

Local women are asked to complete a short four-question survey to help boost better health care – take the survey here Women’s Health Survey for Suffolk and North East Essex (google.com)  by Friday August 11.

The survey is in response to the first-ever national Women’s Health Strategy for England and has been created by Healthwatch Essex and Healthwatch Suffolk, in partnership with the NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board (ICB).

Although women on average live longer than men, women spend a significantly greater proportion of their lives in ill health and disability when compared with men, and in the call for evidence to support the creation of the national Women’s Health Strategy, 84% of respondents felt that women’s voices in relation to healthcare were not listened to.

It is generally agreed that not enough focus is placed on women-specific issues like pregnancy loss or menopause, and women are under-represented when it comes to important clinical trials. This has meant that not enough is known about conditions that only affect women, or about how conditions that affect both men and women impact them in different ways.

Debs Crelly, the ICB’s Strategic Lead for Health, Wellbeing and Retention, said: “Women make up 51% of the country’s population, yet despite that, it is often the case that women’s health care is not a priority and unnecessary obstacles prevent timely and appropriate access to services.

“This call for views is not just about making services more accessible, it’s also important that we empower women and girls so they have the confidence and knowledge to best look after their own mental and physical health.

“We also need to increase awareness of women’s health issues among the male and female population and make topics such as menstrual health, contraception and menopause no longer taboo subjects.

“Do please take some time to fill in this survey and pass on the details to female friends, family and colleagues. The more views we gather the greater chance we have of making a positive difference to women’s lives.”