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NEWS > Alumnae News > Dame Lesley Heads Up Women's Health

Dame Lesley Heads Up Women's Health

We are so proud and delighted that Dame Lesley Regan, Class of 1974, has been appointed as England's first ever Women's Health Ambassador to drive system level changes to close the gender health gap.

Dame Lesley, who is Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College, was appointed to the role by the Department of Health and Social Care last month.  She 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% of our population by addressing the inequalities that exist across society. I look forward to working with women, girls, health services, charities, policy makers, the government, and other key partners to implement this strategy.”

She brings with her a raft of expertise spanning a 42-year career in women’s health with particular interest in miscarriage, gynaecological surgery, and the menopause.  Dame Lesley will support the implementation of the upcoming Women’s Health Strategy which was drafted after more than 100,000 people responded to the DHSC call for evidence.

In her first interview in post Dame Lesley said: “I am thrilled that women’s health is getting the attention I think it really deserves. I’m a great believer in when you get it right for women that the whole of the rest of society benefits. I see my role as trying to include as many stakeholders as possible to improve care for women across the country.

“I’m planning to sit with the team here in DHSC and also the team at NHS England to look at the priorities that have been flagged up in the Women’s Health Strategy which will be published very soon. There are lots of expectations and aspirations there, but I think my main focus initially is going to be to look at those areas of health and wellbeing that really affect almost every woman’s life. So, all the common things that so often we don’t talk about, such as problem periods and really good, easy access to contraception and the menopause. The menopause has suddenly got an airing in the public domain at the moment, and I want to be able to do that for those other areas that affect all women.

“I’m thrilled that people responded to the call for evidence in such large numbers and I’d like to reassure them that we’re going to carry on listening to what it is they want.  I’d like to empower them to feel that they’ve got access to the health and wellbeing needs that they require not just at a particular stage in their life, not just when they’re pregnant or having a baby, but throughout their whole life course. Because when we get it right, as I say, for women, everybody in society benefits.”

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