Fair Treatment for the Women of Wales (FTWW) is the only patient-led third sector organisation in Wales dedicated solely to women’s health equality.
We support, inform, educate, and advocate for girls and women in Wales who are suffering a range of health conditions and who are not receiving adequate (or fair) treatment. Many of the organisation’s users feel that this is, in large part, due to the lack of specialist provision in Wales, and a system which currently doesn’t routinely allow patients to choose and book those clinicians best able to provide care considered to be ‘gold standard’.
FTWW aims to empower women to speak up with confidence amidst a medical and societal environment which often tends to privilege the male experience, sometimes dismissing women’s symptoms and concerns as being ‘psychological’ in origin.
FTWW is a not-for-profit organisation, registered with Community and Voluntary Support Conwy, a member of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, and a registered charity with the Charity Commission, registered charity number 1191069.
Our patient engagement activities include:
- a very active online support group for those based in / receiving healthcare in Wales;
- one-to-one telephone support (upon arrangement);
- email assistance;
- in-person support group meetings and events;
- facilitation of focus groups for government, healthcare, and education providers
External engagement activities include:
- giving patient-focused presentations to a range of agencies, including Welsh Government, NHS Wales, Wales-based education providers;
- advocating for patients / FTWW members on a number of boards, panels, and groups across the UK;
- providing education sessions for clinicians;
- representing the patient / FTWW members’ concerns in written contributions to Welsh Government consultations and similar
FTWW’s Current Campaigns:
Endometriosis – as we write, FTWW’s focus has been on endometriosis, a condition which affects one in ten women and yet which continues to be mired in misinformation and myth. With a similar number affected as by diabetes and / or asthma, the fact that diagnosis takes an average of ten years is of great concern. Given the huge demands upon GPs, especially in Wales where there is a massive shortfall in numbers, it is vital that sufferers are fully cognisant of how this disease presents itself, and are able to advocate for themselves in making the case for early diagnosis and most effective treatment.
For more information on the exciting work we’ve been doing to improve strategy for patients with endometriosis in Wales, please see our dedicated page.
Miscarriage – In collaboration with local campaigner, Jessica Evans, FTWW is now working to lobby Welsh Government for improved miscarriage services in Wales. We have established that women throughout the region are having to endure the devastation of multiple miscarriages whilst finding access to quality, specialised, treatment and support services incredibly difficult. At a time when parents are at their most vulnerable, NHS Wales policy on this matter is utterly unacceptable. For more information on the work we are doing to call for better, your invitation to get involved, and why, please see our dedicated Miscarriage page.
Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – following the success of our work advocating for endometriosis patients, we are now planning on turning our attention to EDS, for which diagnosis and access to treatment are similarly poor and which many patients feel are largely down to gender prejudice.
Perinatal mental health – this is something about which our founder and CEO feels very strongly, having suffered herself for many years with mental health issues arising during pregnancy. FTWW takes every opportunity to advocate for the importance of improved education and specialist provision for those women in Wales affected, and is on a number of committees concerned with the issue.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – FTWW works in close partnership with Autistic UK and the Autistic Women’s Empowerment Project to help make the case for improved recognition of the many girls and women on the spectrum. As a result of the diagnostic model being based on how males present with symptoms, countless girls and women are slipping through the net. FTWW and its partners continue to fight for change in attitudes which are responsible for such inequality, and are involved with the implementation of the new Wales Integrated Autism Service.
In General – FTWW is working with a number of agencies across the UK and in Wales to address the health inequalities being experienced by girls and women, irrespective of the specific condition / illness / disorder. These include the Board of Community Health Councils, and the Bevan Commission. We are actively contributing to the work being done by Public Health Wales to reduce inequalities and adverse childhood experiences often encountered by girls and / or the offspring of women with chronic health complaints. In addition, FTWW continues to participate in the development and delivery of new legislation in Wales which puts well-being, and citizens’ voices, at the forefront.
For a full list of those agencies with which FTWW is, or has been involved, please see our Partnership and Collaboration page.
We have successfully completed training with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in Wales to enhance our knowledge of the Equality Act 2010, and how this can aid us in identifying and tackling discrimination against women with chronic illness in the workplace. We have also undertaken training in independent advocacy at Wrexham Glyndwr University, and can now provide this service bi-lingually.
Right now we are in the process of collating another report, the focus of which will be the ways in which many women’s health issues are not adequately represented, diagnosed, or treated in Wales. We are also working to develop a patient empowerment programme for the benefit of girls and women who feel they lack the confidence to speak up in clinical settings, something which prohibits them from playing an active role in decision-making and their own well-being.