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Gynaecology waits soar by 60% during pandemic

Gynaecology waiting lists in England have risen by 60% during the pandemic - more sharply than any other specialty.

Across the UK, more than 570,000 women are waiting for help.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) said patients were "consistently deprioritised and overlooked".

NHS England says hospitals are making progress on dealing with the Covid backlog and average waiting times for elective treatment are coming down.

The RCOG is calling for much greater attention to women's views, and for care to be designed around their needs.

Chetna Mistry says she is a "prisoner" to endometriosis, a painful condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, like the ovaries.

She described it as "a whole-body disease which affects you physically and mentally". It has left her infertile, and, at 42, she needs a hysterectomy.

Chetna said she was referred to a specialist in June 2020, but 21 months later still does not have a date for surgery.

RCOG president Dr Edward Morris said he felt helpless not being able to speed up access to care for women and people on his waiting lists.

"There is an element of gender bias in the system. I don't think believe that we are listening to voices of women as well as we should be. The priority they urgently need is not being given to them."

The Royal College asked 830 women on waiting lists about the other impacts on their lives.

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Source: BBC News, 4 April 2022



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