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Found 71 results
  1. News Article
    In ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed For Men’ author Caroline Criado Perez writes about Rachael, a woman who suffered years of severe and incapacitating pain during her period. It takes, on average, eight years for women in the UK to obtain a diagnoses of endometriosis. In fact, for over a decade, there has been no improvement in diagnostic times for women living with the debilitating condition. You might think, given the difficulty so many women experience in having their symptoms translated into a diagnosis, that endometriosis is a rare condition that doctors perhaps don’t encounter all that often. Yet it is something that affects one in ten women – so what is going wrong? Read the full article here in The Scotsman
  2. Content Article
    In order to support informed and sensitive care of women, this Royal College of Nursing publication focuses on: an overview of HPV (including the current vaccination recommendations) the national cervical screening programmes information about colposcopy key facts on cervical cancer.
  3. News Article
    Endometriosis care across the UK needs urgent improvement and diagnosis times need to be cut in half, a report by MPs says. It found an average wait for a diagnosis was eight years and that has not improved in more than a decade. Endometriosis affects one in 10 women in the UK and causes debilitating pain, very heavy periods and infertility. Nadine Dorries, minister for women's health, said awareness was increasing but there was still a long way to go. More than 10,000 people took part in the All-Party Political Group inquiry which found that 58% of people visited the GP more than 10 times before diagnosis and 53% went to A&E with symptoms before diagnosis. The majority of people also told MPs their mental health, education and careers had been damaged by the condition. About 90% said they would have liked access to psychological support but were never offered it, with 35% having a reduced income due to endometriosis. Helen-Marie Brewster, 28, from Hull, has been told by doctors that her only remaining treatment option is a full hysterectomy. She had symptoms throughout secondary school but was only diagnosed when she left education. "GPs ask me to explain to them what endometriosis is, because they don't know. They're the ones who are meant to help." "Last year I visited the A&E department 17 times trying to find help and pain relief for this condition, even for just a few days so I can keep going. The wait time for diagnosis is so long that in that time it's spreading and doing more damage the longer it is left untreated... We can't carry on like this." Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 October 2020 Read press release
  4. Content Article
    Key findings - Average diagnosis times for endometriosis have not improved in over a decade – it still takes 8 years on average to get a diagnosis; - Prior to getting a diagnosis and with symptoms: 58% visited their GP more than 10 times 43% visited doctors in hospital over 5 times 53% visited A&E; - Once diagnosed, only 19% know if they are seen in an endometriosis specialist centre; - 90% would have liked access to psychological support, but were not offered this. Recommendations In order to support those with endometriosis, the APPG has called on all Governments in the UK to commit to a series of support measures for those with endometriosis including: Commitment to reduce average diagnosis times with a target of 4 years of less by 2025, and a year or less by 2030. To ensure a baseline for endometriosis diagnosis, treatment and management by implementing the NICE Guideline on Endometriosis Treatment and Management (2017), adopted across the UK, but not implemented. Up to 10% of those with endometriosis will have the disease outside the pelvic cavity, yet the NICE Guideline only provides a care pathway only for endometriosis within the pelvic cavity. The APPG is calling for NICE to ensure that care pathways for all locations of endometriosis are developed and implemented, starting with thoracic endometriosis. Investigation into the barriers faced in accessing care for those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and end the ethnicity and gender gaps in medical research. Invest in research to find the cause of endometriosis, better treatment, management and diagnosis options, and one day a cure. A commitment from all 4 nations to include compulsory menstrual wellbeing in the school curriculum so that young people recognise the warning signs of menstrual health conditions and know when to seek help. This is compulsory in schools in England from 2020, but is not UK wide.
  5. News Article
    The government has been told it is ‘not sustainable’ to continue to delay its response to a major review on patient safety as ‘babies are still being damaged’. The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review spoke to more than 700 people, mostly women who suffered avoidable harm from surgical mesh implants, pregnancy tests and an anti-epileptic drug, and criticised “a culture of dismissive and arrogant attitudes” including the “unacceptable labelling of many symptoms as “attributable to ‘women’s problems’”. The review’s author Baroness Julia Cumberlege told HSJ that “time is marching on” for the Department of Health and Social Care to implement the recommendations of her July report, which include setting up a new independent patient safety commissioner. The Conservative peer said pressure was building on government to adopt the findings of the review, since it had been endorsed by Royal Colleges and has already been adopted by the Scottish government. She said the government had given “evasive” answers in parliament on the issue. In an exclusive interview with HSJ, Baroness Cumberlege said: There is a crowded field of regulators but “there’s a void” for a service that listens and responds to patients’ safety concerns. She feels “diminished” that women’s concerns are still being dismissed by clinicians, but said young doctors are a cause for hope. She is “very optimistic” report will be implemented – but the NHS has to have the will to make changes. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 13 October 2020
  6. News Article
    One of the largest studies of its kind suggests that most pregnant women who become infected with the coronavirus will have mild cases but suffer prolonged symptoms that may linger for two months or longer in some cases. The study, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that most women who participated had mild cases of COVID-19 — a finding consistent with previous studies. Among the nearly 600 women followed, only 5% were hospitalised and 2% were admitted to intensive care units. Despite the mildness of their cases, 25% of the participants continued to experience symptoms eight weeks after becoming sick. The median length of symptoms was 37 days. Although pregnancy is known to cause major changes to the immune system, the length of time for continuing symptoms was surprising, said co-principal investigator Vanessa Jacoby, vice chair of research in the obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences department at the University of California at San Francisco. Read full story Source: The Washington Post, 10 October 2020
  7. News Article
    Women are being disproportionately affected by a rise in mental health problems caused by increasing workloads as people do their jobs from home amid the pandemic. The length of the working day has increased steadily, resulting in a 49% rise in mental distress reported by employees when compared with 2017-19. Women are bearing the brunt of problems as they juggle work and childcare, according to a report by the 4 Day Week campaign and thinktanks Compass and Autonomy. The report, Burnout Britain, cshows that women are 43% more likely to have increased their hours beyond a standard working week than men, and for those with children, this was even more clearly associated with mental health problems: 86% of women who are carrying out a standard working week alongside childcare, which is more than or equivalent to the UK average, experienced problems in April this year. The report warns that “as well as an impending recession and mass unemployment, we are heading into an unprecedented mental health crisis”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 9 October 2020
  8. News Article
    Almost one million women in the UK have missed vital breast screening due to coronavirus, a leading charity has estimated. Breast screening programmes were paused in March as the NHS focused resources on tackling the pandemic. Breast Cancer Now calculates that around 8,600 women who have not had a scan have undetected breast cancer. The scanning programme is running again, but social distancing measures have reduced capacity. Combined with the significant backlog of women waiting for a scan, and more women starting to come forward with concerns about possible symptoms, the charity warns the service is under intense pressure. Breast cancer diagnosed at a later stage can be harder to treat. Breast Cancer Now estimates that a total of 986,000 women across the UK missed their mammograms due to breast screening programmes being paused. The estimate is based on the average number of women screened per month, and the approximate length of time the screening programme was suspended, in each part of the UK. This breaks down to almost 838,000 women in England, 78,000 in Scotland, 48,000 in Wales and 23,000 in Northern Ireland. The charity is calling for an action plan and new resources to tackle the problem. Baroness Delyth Morgan, Breast Cancer Now chief executive, said: "That nearly one million women across the UK were caught up in the backlog waiting for breast screening is cause for grave concern. "Mammograms are a key tool in the early detection of breast cancer, which is critical to stopping women dying from the disease. "We understand that the breast screening programme was paused out of necessity due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, but we must now press play to ensure that all women can access breast screening, and we cannot afford for the programme to be paused again." Read full story Source: BBC News, 30 September 2020 Breast Cancer Now press release
  9. Event
    Based on the participant feedback and interest in the 'Reimagining Healing after Harm: the Potential for Restorative Practices' webinar, Patients for Patient Safety Canada is pleased to offer this follow up session. Restorative practices involve inclusive democratic dialogue between all those affected by healthcare harm. They are guided by concern to address harms, meet needs, restore trust, and promote repair or healing for all involved. This webinar will further explore New Zealand's approach to healing after healthcare harm from surgical mesh: What was the impetus for a restorative approach? What inspired the choice of a relationship-centric and reconciliatory model? How did restorative practices support the co-design process between consumer advocates and Ministry of Health representatives? How do restorative approaches support New Zealand's commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi- The treaty that determines the partnership between the Crown and indigenous peoples? It will follow with a participant discussion about what this means for Canada. Further information and registration
  10. Content Article
    Over 200,000 babies were born when lockdown was at its most restrictive, between 23 March and 4 July. The survey of 5,474 respondents suggests that the impact of COVID-19 on these babies could be severe and may be longlasting. The report found: 6 in 10 (61%) parents shared significant concerns about their mental health. A quarter (24%) of pregnant respondents who cited mental health as a main concern said they would like help with this, rising to almost a third (32%) of those with a baby. Only around 3 in 10 (32%) were confident that they could find help for their mental health if they needed it. Almost 9 in 10 (87%) parents were more anxious as a result of COVID-19 and the lockdown. There was a notable variation among respondents who reported feeling ‘a lot’ more anxious: White 42%, Black/ Black British 46%, Asian/Asian British 50%, parents 25 years old or under 54%, and parents with a household income of less than £16k 55%.
  11. Content Article
    What is an Adjournment Debate? There is a 30 minute Adjournment Debate at the end of each day's sitting of the House of Commons. They provide an opportunity for an individual backbench MP to raise an issue and receive a response from the relevant Minister. Unlike many other debates, these take place without a question which the House of Commons must then make a decision on.[1] NHS Hysteroscopy Treatment In this debate Lyn Brown MP outlined the issue of significant numbers of women who experience extreme levels of pain when undergoing a hysteroscopy, highlighted by groups such as the Campaign Against Painful Hysteroscopy. She noted concerns around: Lack of access to pain relief. Lack of informed consent - noting that while improved information leaflets have been produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, many women are still not being provided with this information prior to the procedure. Lasting trauma for patients. Best Practice Tariff and perverse financial incentives Lyn Brown also noted a particular issue of a financial incentive that deters the use of pain relief in hysteroscopy procedures. She noted that NHS trusts are encouraged to perform hysteroscopies as outpatient procedures, through the NHS best practice tariff. She noted that the way the tariff is designed means that a trust will lose money if it provides general anesthetic for such procedures. In her response the Minister for Patient Safety, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, Nadine Dorries MP, indicated that forthcoming technical changes to the tariff for 2021-22 may address this issue for hysteroscopy procedures. References UK Parliament, Adjournment Debates, Last Accessed 25 September 2020.
  12. News Article
    Hospitals have been ordered to allow partners and visitors onto maternity wards so pregnant women are not forced to give birth on their own. NHS England and NHS Improvement have written to all of the directors of nursing and heads of midwifery to ask them to urgently change the rules around visiting. The letter, which is dated 19 September and seen by The Independent, says NHS guidance was released on 8 September so partners and visitors can attend maternity units now “the peak of the first wave has passed”. “We thank you and are grateful the majority of services have quickly implemented this guidance and relaxed visiting restrictions,” it reads. “To those that are still working through the guidance, this must happen now so that partners are able to attend maternity units for appointments and births.” The letter adds: “Pregnancy can be a stressful time for women and their families, and all the more so during a pandemic, so it is vital that everything possible is done to support them through this time.” Make Birth Better, a campaign group which polled 458 pregnant women for a new study they shared exclusively, said mothers-to-be have been forced to give birth without partners and have had less access to pain relief in the wake of the public health crisis. Half of those polled were forced to alter their own childbirth plans as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak – while almost half of those who were dependant on support from a specialist mental health midwife said help had stopped. Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 September 2020
  13. News Article
    More than 1,500 breast cancer patients in UK face long waits to have reconstructive surgery after hospitals could not operate on them during the pandemic because they were tackling COVID-19. The women are facing delays of “many months, possibly years” because the NHS has such a big backlog of cases to get through, according to research by the charity Breast Cancer Now. When the lockdown began in March the NHS stopped performing breast reconstructions for women seeking one after a mastectomy as part of its wider suspension of care. That was because so many operating theatres were being used as overflow intensive care units and because doctors and hospital bosses feared that patients coming into hospital might catch Covid. The NHS started doing them again in July, but not everywhere and not in the same numbers as before. “We are deeply concerned by our finding that over 1,500 breast cancer patients may now face lengthy and extremely upsetting delays for reconstructive surgery,” said Delyth Morgan, the chief executive of Breast Cancer Now. “This will leave many women who want to have reconstruction with one breast, no breasts or asymmetric breasts for months, possibly even years.” Lady Morgan said: “Reconstructive surgery is an essential part of recovery after breast cancer for those who choose it. “Women with breast cancer have told us these delays are causing them huge anxiety, low self-esteem and damaged body confidence, and all at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has denied them access to face to face support from healthcare professionals and charities.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 18 September 2020
  14. News Article
    Detainees held in an immigration centre in the US have been subjected to potentially unnecessary hysterectomies performed without informed consent, a nurse whistleblower has alleged. Dawn Wooten, who filed a whistleblower complaint with the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, says she was demoted and her hours slashed after she complained about substandard medical care, questionable surgeries on women, and failure to protect detainees and staff from COVID-19. A report of the charges1 was filed by four non-profit rights and welfare groups on behalf of the detained immigrants at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia, which is operated by the private prison company, LaSalle Corrections. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 16 September 2020