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All areas to get women’s health hubs

All areas to get women’s health hubs

Each area in England will get at least one new hub specialising in women’s health, with each ICB receiving £595,000 to set them up.

A £25m investment in the hubs was announced in March, with the funding being provided over the next two years to speed up the project’s development.

The Government said the hubs will provide better access to care for menstrual problems, contraception, pelvic pain and menopause and could also offer cervical screening.

It said that they would bring together healthcare professionals and existing services ‘to provide integrated women’s health services in the community’, focusing on improving access to care and reducing health inequalities.

But at the time, primary care experts warned that this was a further ‘fragmentation’ of services, rather than investing in core general practice.

Now the Government has confirmed that the funding will be distributed equally to ICBs, with £595,000 in total for each.  

This will be transferred over the current and next financial year, with 75% available in 2023/24 for immediate use.

A letter sent to ICBs’ chief executives encouraged systems to ‘make full use of your funding allocation to accelerate progress’, noting that ICBs will not be expected to incur costs implementing a model that is not recurrently affordable.

Systems can use the funding to establish a new hub or expand an existing hub – either geographically or in terms of services offered.

The letter added: ‘There is no “one size fits all” approach to women’s health hubs. It is important that services are provided in a way that best meets population needs and reduces health inequalities.

‘DHSC and NHSE will work together to develop further resources to support the wider expansion of hubs. In the autumn, we will publish a commissioning specification for hubs.’

The hubs, first announced as part of the Women’s Health Strategy for England could also reduce pressure on secondary care waiting lists, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Earlier this year, the Government rejected a recommendation to introduce mandatory menopause training for GPs, saying ‘it is not necessary.’

That followed a recommendation from the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee recommended that the menopause is be given ‘more priority’ in initial training for GPs and a ‘mandatory aspect’ of continuing GP professional development.


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Turn out The Lights 28 July, 2023 12:22 pm

Is the NHS achieving the basics,where are the staff coming from to man these Davina centres.

Azeem Majeed 28 July, 2023 1:03 pm

Yet more fragmentation of primary care and duplication of services.

John Graham Munro 28 July, 2023 7:18 pm

Most women with Gynae problems prefer to see male G.Ps a survey once showed

Not on your Nelly 29 July, 2023 12:27 pm

Great. They will be full and non accessible. All pointers will say “no appointments,see your GP”. Manned by nocturs with no prescribing or investigating ability, even for bloods or ultrasounds. “See your GP” “gp to organise these tests” “gp to prescribe high dose hrt or testosterone way outside both my and theoretical competence please ” . No useful gain for the patients or GPs in terms of work load or care. 25million really well spent . Well done ivory Tower adminstrators and doctors who have not seen any patients or do any work on the ground. Bravo

Darren Tymens 31 July, 2023 3:50 pm

Lots of problems with this.

First, £595K is peanuts for something covering a whole ICB.

Second, we already have ‘hubs specialising in women’s health’, they are called gynaecology departments.
Yes they could be run better and more efficiently and effectively – but setting them in the community and calling them ‘hubs’ instead of outpatients does not solve any of the real problems.

Third, much of this work is already delivered incredibly efficiently and effectively in General Practice. Why not just fund us properly?

This looks like a pretend solution to a pretend problem that allows NHSE to claim something positive is being done and grab a headline, when we all actually know nothing meaningful is being done at all.