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Government says 3,000 pharmacies in England signed up to contraception service

NHS & health news

Government says 3,000 pharmacies in England signed up to contraception service

The government has said 3,000 pharmacies in England have signed up to the pharmacy contraception service.

The service was expanded last year to include the provision of oral contraceptives and in an update to Number 10’s women’s health strategy for 2024, the Department of Health and Social Care said women across the country now had “easier” access to contraception.

The government, who last year pledged to invest £645 million over two years to help community pharmacies roll out the contraception service as well as Pharmacy First and the hypertension case-finding service, also said 484,082 HRT prescription prepayment certificates were purchased between April 1 and December 31, 2023. That, the DHSC said, saved “women millions of pounds in ongoing prescription charges.”

The health secretary Victoria Atkins said “there is more to do” but insisted the Tories were “breaking historical barriers that prevent women getting the care they need, building greater understanding of women’s healthcare issues and ensuring their voices and choices are listened to.”

Insisting the government had “made huge progress enabling almost half a million women access to cheaper HRT” and “supporting women through the agony of pregnancy loss,” Atkins added: “We’re ensuring these changes benefit all women, regardless of socioeconomic background or ethnicity, because our women’s health strategy is only a success if it works for all women.”

The strategy laid out plans to invest £25 million in expanding women’s health hubs which the government said “will improve women’s access to care, improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.” The hubs are designed to improve access and quality of services for menstrual problems, contraception, pelvic pain and menopause care.

The DHSC also said there were 102,872 visits to the women’s health section on the NHS website and 1.26 million visits to its hormone replacement therapy section between July last year and the early part of this month.

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NHS & health news