On Tuesday 8th January, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Endometriosis met with the Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price to urge the Government to take action on the condition. As Chair of the APPG, Sir David Amess MP led the discussion amongst MPs and the charity Women with Endometriosis and raised concerns about the support currently available to patients.
1 in 10 women in the UK suffer from Endometriosis, yet lack of awareness and understanding often leads to long delays in diagnosis and treatment. The Group heard how patients’ symptoms are often dismissed or not believed by medical professionals. With an average 7 year wait for diagnosis, many GPs are failing to recognise and take seriously symptoms sooner. At the meeting, patients discussed their experiences of waiting years for a proper diagnosis, and how a lack of awareness amongst GPs meant many sufferers were receiving inadequate care. MPs urged the Health Minister to look into why so many women are being failed in primary care, and see what more can be done to ensure patients are getting better treatment sooner.
The APPG also highlighted the need to raise awareness of the condition amongst women and break the taboo of talking openly about menstrual health. Although endometriosis is as common as diabetes in the UK, there is a lack of awareness and understanding amongst the public, educators and employers. Starting a conversation about what is a normal period and empowering women to take control of their own health could help end patients suffering in silence. The Group have given their support to a campaign to add menstrual well-being onto the National Curriculum, and ensure everyone is given the information to recognise when something is wrong sooner.
Sir David Amess said 'I am very pleased that the Minister took the time to listen and understand the concerns of patients who feel they are being let down by current levels of care. Since its inception last year, I have been honoured to chair the APPG on Endometriosis and am encouraged by the work being done on this important issue. With over 1.5 million in the UK living with the condition, more needs to be done to raise awareness and ensure that everyone gets the treatment and support they deserve.'