Wishart challenges Scottish Government on Endometriosis report

In Topical questions today, Scottish Liberal Democrat and Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart asked the Scottish Government what action it will take in response to a report by Endometriosis UK recommending changes to improve diagnosis and treatment of the condition. The report published this weekend found that care for the condition in Scotland was not meeting the ‘base level’.

The report recommended four main areas for improvement:

  • Implementing National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines quality standard on endometriosis across Scotland - the research found that this base level of care “is not currently being met” 
  • Building relationships between healthcare services through Managed Clinical Networks to allow for smoother referrals 
  • Increasing education at primary and secondary care levels - GPs and non-specialist gynaecologists receiving more education on the condition 
  • Investing in endometriosis awareness through a public health campaign, improving menstrual wellbeing education in schools and educating school nurses 

An estimated 1.5 million women in the UK are affected, similar to the number of women who have diabetes. As high as 30-50% of women affected by infertility have endometriosis. The condition is where tissue, similar to the lining of the womb, starts to grow in other places such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. There is no definite cure, and the cause is still unknown.

Earlier this month Ms Wishart contributed to a members debate on the condition. She has previously met with the North Highland support group for Endometriosis UK as its network includes Shetland. More information about the group and the condition can be found online.

After the question session Ms Wishart said:

“This condition can have debilitating physical and mental impacts on those living with it. I have been told about relationships breaking down because of the strain this condition can put on a marriage.

“Sexism is part of the issue in tackling this condition. If there were a similar painful medical condition that affected the same amount of men there would have been greater action by now. We must improve awareness of the condition to drive down the time taken for diagnosis and waiting time for treatment.

“I want to take the opportunity to thank Endometriosis UK for the work they have done on this report. Details of the North Highland support group for Endometriosis UK are online and would be welcoming to anyone living with the condition.”




Notes to Editor

The exchange in Topical Questions can be found here.

Endometriosis UK’s report can be found here.

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