Dame Lesley Regan has been appointed the government’s first-ever Women’s Health Ambassador for England
Bringing with her a raft of expertise spanning a 42-year career in women’s health with a particular interest in miscarriage, period problems, gynaecological surgery and menopause, she will support the implementation of the upcoming women’s health strategy.
The strategy aims to tackle the gender health gap and ensure services meet the needs of women throughout their life.
She continues in her role as Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College London St Mary’s Hospital Campus and will remain in active clinical practice.
Dame Lesley Regan said: “Having spent my career working with and caring for women, it is a great honour to be appointed as Women’s Health Ambassador for the first government-led women’s health strategy in England.
This is an important opportunity to get it right for women and girls and make a real difference to 51 percent of our population by addressing the inequalities that exist across society.
I look forward to working with women, girls, health services, charities, policymakers, the government, and other key partners to implement this strategy.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said: “The healthcare system needs to work for everyone, and I am committed to tackling inequalities which exist within it, particularly for women.
“Closing the gender health gap is critical for a fair health and care system in the future. I look forward to working closely with Dame Lesley on our shared mission to ensure all women feel listened to by the health and care system and are able to access the support and services they need.”
Closing the gender health gap is vital to the government’s wider levelling up ambition. A lack of support, awareness, and understanding of health conditions specific to women can be harmful not only to the health and happiness of women, but the health of the economy.
One in four women consider leaving their job as a result of menopause, and ensuring women have the right support in place to stay in the workplace for longer will not only enable them to live fulfilled lives but help to boost the economy and help tackle the rising costs of living.
To demonstrate this, the Civil Service recently signed the Wellbeing of Women Menopause Workplace Pledge, committing to ensuring those going through menopause are supported.
Dame Lesley will be instrumental in driving forward the system-level changes needed to close the gender health gap and eradicating deep-seated biases.
Bringing with her a wealth of contacts across the medical profession, including her roles as honorary secretary of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) and the immediate past president (2016 to 2019) of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Dame Lesley will leverage her networks ensuring the scale of change needed, and the role clinicians need to play in tackling the gender health gap is understood.
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