£250,000 investment for Gateshead’s women’s health hubs

A £250,000 investment in Gateshead will help to develop one-stop-shop services in GP practices, pharmacies, pop-up sites and community venues, with the aim of making Gateshead a centre of excellence for women’s health. With an initial focus on gynaecology, sexual health and breast services, it will bring together care for several issues including menstrual health, bladder and bowel care, HRT, screening services and breast pain.

Trudie Davies, chief executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is great news for Gateshead and a fantastic opportunity to share our knowledge, skills and expertise to benefit women and girls.

“Improving women’s health is a collective ambition across Gateshead. This investment is an important step in becoming the Northern Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health. By working together, we see this women’s health hub as an opportunity to bring partners together to improve access and outcomes for women and girls, using digital support wherever possible.”

This is part of an announcement that was made where North East and North Cumbria NHS invests £595,000 in women’s health hubs – in Sunderland, Gateshead and North Cumbria.

Our partners commenting on the announcement said:

Councillor Lynne Caffrey, Chair of the Gateshead Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“Many of the conditions that only affect women are very common and can have severe impacts on health and wellbeing. Improved screening and treatment for these conditions is great news for Gateshead.”

Alice Wiseman, Gateshead’s Director of Public Health, said:

“On average, women in Gateshead live around 4 years longer than men. However, due to a range of historic, systemic and social factors, they do so in poorer health. This very welcome investment in women’s wellbeing is an important step towards breaking the cycle of disadvantage faced by women and girls.”

Mark Dornan, Gateshead GP and chair of Gateshead Cares: “This is great news for Gateshead’s residents.

We want to build on the excellent local services and allow more women to benefit from joined-up care. We hope this recognition will allow services in Gateshead to improve further and connect in learning from around the world.”

Lynn Wilson, Director of Place, Gateshead, North East and North Cumbria ICB and Gateshead Council said: “I am delighted that Gateshead has been awarded the funding for Gateshead’s women’s health hubs. The Gateshead system has worked closely to develop a model to improve women’s health that will build upon the great work and outcomes delivered by Gateshead Health and its partners. As we know the leading cause of death for all ages in females is cancer; breast cancer screening coverage is 65% in the region which is lower than pre-pandemic rates; access to long-acting contraception is lower than the England average whilst our rates of repeat termination of pregnancy are increasing.

“Gateshead leaders aspire to improve outcomes for women and girls and to create a centre of excellence for women’s health to deliver the stark issues highlighted in both the Women’s Health Strategy for England and the Gateshead Director of Public Health annual report ‘Mind the Gap women and health inequalities’.”

Dr Sangeetha Bommisetty, GP said: “Being awarded the opportunity to develop a dedicated Women’s Health hub is excellent news for our women in Gateshead. We at the ICB, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and our partner organisations are committed to making this an exemplar in providing holistic high-quality care which is streamlined and easily accessible.”

Michael Brown, chair of Healthwatch Gateshead said: “Locally as partners across the borough, we have prioritised the health inequalities of women in our strategies and work plans. Improving women’s health is a combined objective across the Gateshead system. Healthwatch Gateshead feels that the women’s health hub will build on the work many of us are doing already, so we are delighted that it has now received funding to enable us to make a real difference.”

Nicola Allen, Chief Executive of CBC Health Foundation said: “I am delighted to hear that Gateshead has been successful in securing funding to support the women’s health agenda.

“This funding provides a unique opportunity to look at moving services that do not need to be delivered in hospital out into community/primary care with the concept of right person, right time, right place principles. It also enables us as system providers to support the public health agenda and tackle inequalities in health particularly for women. We will continue to work with GHNFT to support the drive to become a centre of excellence in women’s health by adding additional resilience for women’s health clinics in various settings across the Gateshead place.”

Some of our colleagues also commented:

Gwen Bromley, Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon said: “We’re delighted to hear the news about Gateshead Health being awarded £250,000 for the women’s health hub. This is the first step in ensuring excellence in women’s health across the region and the key role Gateshead Health will play in this. We will continue to engage with our health and social partners in striving to provide healthcare to women at the forefront of innovation centred on their needs and addressing the challenges women face in accessing healthcare.”

Isaac Evbuomwan, Consultant Gynaecologist and Reproductive Medicine Specialist said: “This investment is great news for women and girls in Gateshead. Working with our partners we will create a one-stop shop where women and girls can access services they need. This will be a huge step forward in improving the health and wellbeing of people in our community.”