NHS England invites physios to help implement women’s health hubs and improve pelvic health services

Lobbying from the CSP professional network Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) and the Community Rehabilitation Alliance (CRA) has resulted in invitations from NHS England to support the implementation of women's health hubs.


The invitations follow a joint letter sent to NHS England, from the CRA and POGP, which raised concerns about the lack of engagement with physiotherapists in the development of pelvic health services in the hubs.

NHS England welcomed the letter and has now invited physiotherapists to help implement women’s health hubs and deliver improved access to pelvic health physiotherapy by joining the next clinical stakeholder engagement.

In their response, they said they greatly valued the role of physiotherapists in the Maternity and Neonatal Programme’s work to establish perinatal pelvic health services since its inception, and involvement at the National Perinatal Pelvic Health Implementation Group.

Commenting on the invitation for more physiotherapy involvement in the plans and delivery of women’s health hubs, Sara Hazzard, CSP assistant director and co-chair of the CRA, said:

Pelvic health rehab can be life changing for people. It is clear the NHS England recognises the crucial role of physiotherapy and the significant difference it makes. 

The CSP’s campaign for rehab and leadership in the Community Rehab Alliance meant we could support POGP to have greater direct influence

'I would encourage members to reach out locally so that women’s health hubs are designed to offer good standards of pelvic health services.'

Where integrated care boards (ICBs) are developing women’s health hubs, NHS England is encouraging physiotherapists to approach their local ICBs directly to get involved in planning their pelvic health services. 

Improving pelvic health services and access to treatment

Helen Shepherd, a specialist pelvic health physiotherapist and POGP secretary, said: ‘POGP are pleased that NHS England are encouraging physiotherapists to be involved in the women's health hubs project, and that they have identified that involvement is needed for improved patient access to pelvic health physiotherapy.

The benefits to involvement have already been demonstrated by the invaluable work undertaken for the Perinatal Pelvic Health (PPHS) project, leading to improvement in services and access to treatment

‘There is considerable need for women experiencing difficulties accessing care for common and bothersome conditions including pelvic floor dysfunction with bladder, bowel and vaginal symptoms to have more direct access to the specialist help that they require as well as in addition to the emphasis on contraceptive services, menopause management and endometriosis.’

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