Thank you for emailing me about endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a common long-term condition that can have a significant impact on a woman’s life. I believe it is important to raise awareness of the impact on women worldwide.
To provide support, all obstetricians and gynaecologists have been trained in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions; it is a core part of their training. The NHS has published clinical guidelines on the management of endometriosis to assist doctors.
Through its mandate to NHS England, the Government has set out ambitions to improve the care and support of people with long-term conditions in order to help them to live healthily and independently, with much better control over the care they receive.
I agree that swift diagnosis helps to ensure women are able to access the treatment and support that they need as quickly as possible. However, I understand that there are currently no plans to reduce the diagnosis time for endometriosis. Given the highly invasive nature of the diagnostic procedure and the varying degree to which women experience symptoms, it can be more appropriate to treat mild symptoms on clinical grounds and reserve a laparoscopy with its inherent risks for women with more significant symptoms. However, NHS England has developed a service specification for severe endometriosis under the specialised commissioning area of complex gynaecology, ensuring that specialist training is available to support diagnosis.
I welcome the work of Endometriosis UK and Verity, the UK PCOS Charity, to raise awareness of these conditions, as well as providing sufferers with further information and access to clinical trials and the latest research. In addition, I know that the Government already provides £1 billion funding each year to the National Institute for Health Research, an organisation which invites scientific researchers to apply for funding support, across all fields, including for conditions like endometriosis and PCOS.
Alongside this, I support the Government’s commitment to increase NHS spending by £33.9 billion by 2024/25. This will enable the NHS to fund its own plan for the future, the NHS Long Term Plan. In addition, I know that the APPG on Endometriosis has recently published a report following an inquiry into the impact of the condition, which my colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care will carefully consider as part of their ongoing work to support women's health.
Thank you again for contacting me.