Find out how the newly released UK Government’s Women’s Health Strategy 2024 positively affects women experiencing menopause


Following the recent Women’s Health Summit, where the UK Government outlined its priorities for women’s health in 2024, it is helpful to note the impact of the Women’s Health Strategy (WHS) on women’s health – particularly concerning menopause care. While the journey towards prioritising women’s health in the UK is ongoing, strides have been made, placing a spotlight on the unique healthcare needs of women across the nation. I feel we are way ahead of many other countries based on what I hear from colleagues working in this space, and it is impressive to see that the prioritisation of women’s health is beginning to take centre stage in England. 

The aims of the WHS

The WHS for the UK, which was first published in 2022, aims to enhance women’s healthcare by improving how the healthcare system listens to their voices and addresses their changing health needs across their lifespan. Covering crucial topics like pregnancy, menstruation, menopause and mental health, the strategy strives to ensure women receive optimal care at every stage of life. By prioritising areas such as menstrual health, menopause, maternity care and support for vulnerable populations, the strategy seeks to remove systemic barriers and empower women to manage their health effectively. While ambitious, this plan demonstrates the Government’s commitment to advancing women’s healthcare, albeit requiring time for full realisation. It represents a significant step forward in prioritising women’s health.

Priorities for 2024 

To mark the second year of the WHS, the key priorities for 2024 were announced recently. The positives from the announcement include: 

Better health for menstrual problems and menopause, maternity care and birth trauma support.

Expansion of women’s health hubs to areas across the country, with £25 million investment. 

Better support for domestic and sexual abuse victims and women in the criminal justice system.

More research and inclusion of women in all research studies. 

How the WHS helps women experiencing the menopause

Women going through menopause can greatly benefit from the initiatives in the Women’s Health Strategy. Improved access to menopause care services at women’s health hubs, along with efforts to raise awareness and destigmatise menopause, empower women to manage symptoms effectively and make informed healthcare choices. Additionally, enhanced workplace support and advocacy initiatives aim to create a supportive environment for women during the menopausal transition, promoting overall wellbeing and productivity.

Some specific initiatives that help those experiencing menopause include: 

Introduction of the HRT prepayment certificate, which reduces the cost of hormone replacement therapy for nearly half a million women. If you are on HRT, please apply for the certificate to make your savings on prescription costs ( 

The creation of a dedicated women’s health section of the NHS website, providing updated information, advice and practical resources for women’s health across all ages. I recommend you use this as your first port of call for women’s health information (

The rollout of specialist women’s health hubs across the country with the long-term aim that there will be a nearby one-stop shop of women’s health expertise for every woman. While these are still in their infancy, I encourage you to do your research to find out the progress of the hub in your local area, so you are aware of what is available for when you need it (for general information go to: 

My work at NHS England

The work I am involved with on the national menopause programme is closely aligned to the WHS. To date, we have produced a menopause self-care fact sheet, which is a useful resource available for women and health professionals, link workers, social prescribers etc to use as part of shared consultations to increase awareness of menopause symptoms and how to manage these ( It includes symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, how to manage symptoms with self-care practice, facts about HRT and when to seek help from a healthcare professional.  

The strategy seeks to remove systemic barriers and empower women to manage their health effectively

We have also produced menopause e-learning modules for staff and line managers, as well as a specialised module for occupational health professionals to provide understanding on how to provide menopause support in the workplace ( These resources are available generally, so if you do not have such resources in your own workplace, they are worth visiting to gain much-needed knowledge.  

We have also produced national menopause guidance for our staff and line managers, which sets out the framework for menopause support in the NHS (

These initiatives aim to equip NHS staff affected by menopause with the awareness and knowledge they need, ensuring they receive support and can in turn support others, enabling them to thrive at work during this transition. The NHS employs about 1.3 million people and 75 per cent of them are female, so menopause support is important to help retain our workforce. Our resources are also available to the public, extending their benefits to other industries and the broader population beyond the NHS.  

Still a way to go

While the WHS is a huge step towards prioritising women’s health, there are still gaps to address some of the complex and varied challenges that women face when going through menopause. We hear stories of women whose GPs don’t recognise their symptoms being related to menopause, women who can’t get HRT due to a lack of supply or their doctors not prescribing some medications. Also, the take-off of women’s health hubs is a work in progress still, so more work needs to be done to realise its ambition. Dedicated effort and ongoing evaluation are necessary to ensure the strategy’s effectiveness.

I would encourage each of you to give yourself as much awareness as possible, using the resources I have mentioned, so you are armed with the right information, can advocate for yourself and make informed choices about your menopause care when you visit you doctor or other healthcare professional.

You can read more about the 2024 priorities for the Women’s Health Strategy at