Specialist endometriosis nurses appointed in every health board in Wales

Dedicated endometriosis nurses have been appointed at every health board in Wales, in a bid to improve treatment for women living with the painful condition.

Every health board in Wales now has a specialist endometriosis nurse, in a bid to improve treatments and services for the one in ten women affected by the condition.

The Welsh Government said the posts are being funded by a £1m per annum investment, as part of broader plans to improve women's health services.

All the nurses are in their posts and they will spend time with clinicians and patients to improve the treatment available.

Campaigners recently handed in a petition to the Senedd calling for better care for those living with endometriosis Credit: Welsh Parliament

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said she was determined women in Wales "get the service they deserve."

She said: "Endometriosis affects one in ten women.

"It can cause serious pain and can seriously impact quality of life for women affected by the condition.

"Our Women's Health Implementation Group is progressing vital work to support women's health and the appointment of a dedicated endometriosis nurse in each health board will help raise awareness, diagnosis and treatment of this serious condition across Wales.

"I have heard distressing accounts of misdiagnosis and women with this condition not being taken seriously with this condition, I am determined that women in Wales get the service they deserve."

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to that which lines the womb begins to grow in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

It can affect women of any age and the symptoms include pain in the lower stomach or back, period pain that stops during normal activities, feeling sick, constipation and difficulty getting pregnant.

Some women can be so badly impacted it can lead to feelings of depression.

The NHS says the precise causes of the condition are not fully known but could include genetics or problems with the immune system.

The nursing appointments were made via the Women’s Health Implementation Group, setup by the Welsh Government in 2018, with a budget of up to £1m a year to deliver schemes to improve women's health services.

A new website - Endometriosis Cymru - has also been setup for patients and nurses to use. It will include a symptom tracker and tools to help speed up diagnoses of endometriosis.

A new dedicated website has been set up for women living with endometriosis Credit: Endometriosis Cymru

One of the newly appointed specialist nurses is Jo Kitt, embedded with the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, who said she hoped to improve patients' quality of life.

She said: "Endometriosis can be a debilitating condition but with the right care we can seriously improve patients' quality of life. I look forward to working with all the new nurses to share best practice across Wales.

The health minister added she will be setting out more detail in the summer around how she plans to improve the standards of women's health services in Wales.

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