Sajid Javid – 2022 Speech on the Women’s Health Strategy for England

The speech made by Sajid Javid, the Conservative MP for Bromsgrove, in the House of Commons on 20 July 2022.

There was a time when I would follow right after the shadow Secretary of State, but not any more. However, I am very pleased to follow my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, and I welcome him to his new role. He has the privilege of running a fantastic Department that is so important to the British people. He has excelled in every role he has held in Government so far, and I know he will do so again.

I strongly welcome the women’s health strategy—as we heard, it is the first published by any Government. I congratulate everyone involved, including all the officials and especially the excellent Minister of State, Department for Health and Social Care, my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Maria Caulfield), who is sitting on the Treasury Bench, and the previous Minister of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Mid Bedfordshire (Ms Dorries).

Does the Secretary of State agree that, when it comes to women’s health, early diagnosis is essential? I absolutely welcome the commitment in the strategy on mandatory training in women’s health issues for new doctors, but will my right hon. Friend say a little more about what can be done on training for existing doctors and clinicians?

Steve Barclay

The work on this strategy was done before I arrived in the Department, so it was down to my right hon. Friend and to the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Lewes (Maria Caulfield). It is great to have this opportunity to pay tribute to my predecessor for all that he did to drive this agenda forward. He is absolutely right about the importance of training and early diagnosis. That is why addressing the issue of fragmented services is so important. As a respondent said, where women raise concerns, they often feel like a lone voice in the wind—that was a phrase in the strategy that really resonated with me. Having hubs, centres of excellence and the ability to look at that data and identify it early, alongside the other initiatives in which he played a major role as Secretary of State, such as the diagnostic hubs, are all a key part of the delivery of this strategy.