The cover of Dee’s book. The image is blue and red cell on a purple background, with the book title in the centre and Dee’s name below.

Schroedinger’s Lump – Dee Dickens

Our Trustees are incredibly talented people, and Dee Dickens is no exception! We are absolutely delighted to not only congratulate them on the publication of her latest poetry collection, Shroedinger’s Lump, but also thank her for kindly donating proceeds from sales to FTWW and our friends at Love Your Period. Dee’s collection covers their experiences of accessing healthcare during a breast cancer scare, which was complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that Dee’s poems will resonate with so many in our community, so if you’d like to read it – and support us by doing so – you can…

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The bilingual TNL Community Fund logo

FTWW Benefits from Awards for All Funding

We are really excited to announce that FTWW has been successful in securing a Lottery Awards for All grant to refresh our website and create new and more downloadable resources for our community. We are keen to ensure that the website is more accessible and easier to use, with new content in Welsh and English added on the various health conditions and issues which so many people across Wales report to us. There will be more patient stories, practical information on accessing services and having your voice heard, and an expanded range of leaflets which website visitors can download and…

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Text reading Women’s Health Wales / Iehcyd Menywod Cymru on a purple background with arrows and equals symbols running through it.

Updates on the Development of a NHS Wales Women’s & Girls’ Health Plan

Earlier this month we Chaired the first Annual General Meeting of the third sector Women’s Health Wales Coalition, where we were pleased to hear updates from the new Welsh Government Women’s Health Policy Team. Assurances were given that a new National Clinical Strategic Network for Women’s Health is in the process of being set up. The Strategic Network will be responsible for developing and delivering a 10-year Women’s & Girls’ Health Plan for Wales, with a focus on NHS services. However, as gender health inequalities extend beyond this – into education, training, the workplace, and more – there will need…

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Laura, Becci and Carla, pictured during their speeches at the conference.

All-Wales Menopause Conference is Hosted in Wrexham!

And we were delighted to be asked to organise patient speakers for the event. Our thanks go to Laura, Becci, and Carla (pictured, above), FTWW volunteers who each gave hugely powerful and knowledgeable talks on the symptoms of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) and Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) (otherwise known as ‘early menopause’) at the second annual All-Wales Menopause Conference earlier this month. Not only were their presentations incredibly moving, they also provided a wealth of information to clinicians in attendance on how to identify issues and support patients. We know you will join us in congratulating them for sharing their…

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A group photo of women posing with the menopause manifesto. Dawn Owen is stood just off centre right, holding a FTWW leaflet

Menopause Mandate: Dawn attends House of Lords event

Dawn Owen (just off centre right, holding a FTWW leaflet), one of FTWW’s fantastic volunteers and Menopause Champions, was this month invited to the House of Lords for the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Group’s launch of a UK Menopause Manifesto. The Manifesto echoes some of the calls FTWW has been making, not least as part of the All-Wales Menopause Task & Finish Group, whose recommendations will feature in a new NHS Wales Women’s Health Plan. We are particularly keen to see menopause feature more prominently in training for healthcare professionals, including GPs, practice nurses, and gynaecologists. We also want…

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A photo of all four guides with text reading: Easy Read booklets about keeping healthy in perimenopause and menopause

Menopause Awareness Month: Easy Read Wales launches new menopause guides

18th October was World Menopause Day, and Easy Read Wales launched four bilingual easy read guides covering menopause and perimenopause, symptoms, HRT and keeping well, and speaking to doctors and healthcare professionals. The booklets were co-produced with FTWW, The Menopause Charity, and people with learning disabilities representing Cwm Taf All Wales People First. Easy read guides are created to make information accessible for people with learning disabilities, but are regularly accessed by other disabled people as well as those who are time limited. It’s just one example of how making something accessible for one group of people benefits wider society!…

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FTWW backs Welsh NHS Confederation call for conversation on future of nation’s health and wellbeing

32 organisations, including FTWW, have come together to support the Welsh NHS Confederation’s call for a cross-government national conversation on the future of health and wellbeing. The organisations, from a range of sectors in Wales, believe it is for all government departments, ministers and sectors to ask what they can do to support the health and wellbeing of people now and in the future. Read more here.  

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Update from the Welsh Government’s Ministerial Disability Rights Taskforce

We’re delighted to bring you an update from the Disability Rights Taskforce, in which FTWW and our volunteers regularly participate. The Taskforce sends a big thank you to members of the working groups which have now concluded their deliberations, all of which have been Chaired by people with their own lived experience of disability. The working groups saw people with lived experience and expertise, disabled people’s organisations, and Welsh Government policy leads coming together to hear about the things that are important to disabled and chronically ill people and to think about how to remove barriers affecting their lives. Recommendations…

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Becci is a white woman with short red and orange dyed hair. She is sat in her kitchen speaking to a reporter who is off camera.

PMDD: Becci Launches Petition

FTWW members and PMDD Champions, Becci and Laura, featured on BBC Radio Wales Breakfast regarding Becci’s Senedd Petition to improve care for the condition (1.35.00 on). Becci also talked to BBC Wales News Online and BBC Wales Today.  ITV’s This Morning programme also highlighted the campaign, and discussed PMDD in more detail, to help viewers understand symptoms. Watch here (from the 3.25 mark). Becci is calling for PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) to be part of core teaching for healthcare professionals in Wales, as the condition is so misunderstood and under-recognised. Please sign and share her petition, here.     

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Experts call for urgent mental health support for people living with long term autoimmune diseases

A new study has highlighted the shocking mismatch of clinician and patients experiences of neurological and mental health issues in people with autoimmune rheumatological conditions. More than half of patients with auto-immune conditions experience mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, yet the majority are rarely or never asked in clinic about mental health symptoms, according to new research from the University of Cambridge and King’s College London. Read more, here. 

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Focus on Menopause: #Flushfest23 and the second All-Wales Menopause Conference

Join #FlushFest23 in Edinburgh or online on 8 and 9 September, for a festival full of menopause advice, fun, storytelling, wellbeing workshops and much more.  See the full programme and buy tickets here. We’d also like to remind you that the second All-Wales Menopause Conference takes place in November. This one is also hybrid, and will welcome renowned national and international speakers, shining a light on topics such as menopause and cardiovascular, bone, and mental health, menopause in the workplace, and the role of testosterone. FTWW is pleased to be facilitating the involvement of expert patients. Find more information and buy…

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The Llais logo

Llais: First 100 Days

Since April 2023 the people of Wales have had a new independent body to help shape health and social care services.  Llais has been set up by the Welsh Government to raise the power and influence of the voices of people living in Wales, and we regularly recommend them to members of our community who feel a struggle to be heard.  FTWW is delighted to be having regular meetings with them to discuss ‘all things women’s health’. In the meantime, you can read about their first 100 days, here.   

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Senedd Inquiry: Supporting People with Chronic Conditions – Responses Published

The Senedd Health & Social Care Committee has published responses to its inquiry into support for those living with chronic conditions in Wales. FTWW submitted feedback, noting that our members had provided some of the most powerful and compelling testimonies we have ever received for a consultation like this. With permission, we included some of their accounts.  We also responded on behalf of the Women’s Health Wales Coalition, and were pleased to see the Women’s Health Cross Party Group, chaired by Jenny Rathbone MS, advising that FTWW be sought out by the Committee for further evidence of patient experiences and…

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The Endometriosis Cymru logo

Endometriosis.Cymru Update

FTWW is excited to be working with colleagues in Cardiff University and Proper Design to expand and update the Welsh Government and NHS-funded Endometriosis Cymru website.   We’ll be developing information about Wales’s endometriosis services, the social model of disability, and how to access further support outside of healthcare settings, as well as ensuring that the website is accessible and available in an Easy Read format. Watch this space for further updates and involvement opportunities!

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A picture of an intrauterine device (IUD), otherwise known as the coil

The BMJ: Intrauterine devices (IUDs) and pain

The BMJ Opinion: We must validate the painful experiences of many women using intrauterine devices FTWW volunteer, Lucy, and the Women’s Health Coalition were mentioned in an Opinion Piece featured in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) about the need to address women’s experiences of pain, trauma, and lack of informed consent when having minor gynae procedures.  The article, written by Stephanie O’Donohue from Patient Safety Learning, responds to Davina McCall’s documentary Pill Revolution, which Stephanie argues missed an opportunity to validate painful experiences of intrauterine devices and promote better practice.  Read more here.     

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The webinar flyer, showing details and FTWW and FNUK logos, as well as an illustration of people holding hands.

Watch our Webinar: Getting the Most from Your Medical Appointments

We were really pleased to co-host this event with Fertility Network UK Cymru on June 19th. We were joined by FTWW member and Hormone & Mindset Coach, Laura Teare-Jones, who offered practical tips on how to prepare for healthcare appointments. Alongside her was Angela Mutlow, from Llais, an independent statutory body set up by the Welsh Government both to provide support to those wishing to make a complaint about their care and to give the people of Wales much more say in the planning and delivery of health and care services. Whether you are on a fertility journey or not, we are sure you…

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Every Woman Festival Recap!

We’d like to say a HUGE thank you to Julie Cornish and The Every Woman Festival team for such a fantastic event in Cardiff on Saturday! It was empowering, emotive and informative; seeing so many people coming together to discuss female health, share information and support each other was just brilliant. Thank you so much for inviting us to be part of it.   Dee spoke on the main stage about her experiences with endometriosis and adenomyosis, alongside two incredible women; Molly Fenton, founder of The Love Your Period Campaign, and Bethan Walters, a UN advocate for menstrual health and…

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Beth hands in the petition to the Senedd with Jenny Rathbone MS, supportive MSes and FTWWers

Don’t Delay, Vote Now! Endometriosis Petition to the Senedd Shortlisted for Petition of the Year

This month, voting opened on the Senedd’s Petition of the Year competition to recognise and celebrate the contribution of campaigners in Wales. FTWW is delighted to see that of volunteer, Beth, amongst the five notable petitions shortlisted by the Petitions Committee. The public is now being asked to vote for the one that has had the most impact on the people of Wales – closing date is 30th June. You can vote for Beth’s petition, ‘Improving Endometriosis Healthcare’ here.

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Sam Skelton

Marie Curie Gender and End of Life Care report published

FTWW thanks Marie Curie for its report into gender differences at end of life across Wales, which includes a powerful foreword from FTWW Member, Sam Skelton (pictured). The report’s top recommendation is that findings are considered in any life course Women’s Health Plan for Wales – a recommendation that FTWW supports. Find out more and read the report, here.

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