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Women’s Health

Women’s Health Plan

In March 2021 the Scottish Government published its first Women’s Health Plan, aiming to improve women’s health and reduce inequalities in the care and treatment that women experience. It targets many aspects of women’s health but importantly addresses women’s heart health to tackle the misconception that heart disease is largely a male problem.

Did you know heart disease kills nearly three times as many women as breast cancer in Scotland? Women have a worse rate of survival after a heart attack than men and are less likely to be prescribed drugs that help reduce the chance of a second heart attack.

We want to help change this.

Women’s Heart Health

Supporting women’s health

To support the actions and recommendations in the government’s plan, we have developed our own Women’s Health Action Plan to help us best support women’s health.

As the largest health charity providing support for people affected by heart disease and with services across Scotland, we are uniquely placed to help deliver the ambitions of the government’s plan.

We want to proactively tackle some of the inequalities women face when it comes to their health, not only for people with our conditions, but for our own staff and volunteers too.

As part of the plan, we are refreshing our training to health professionals, improving public understanding and awareness, supporting more women with our conditions, and educating and supporting staff and volunteers on women’s health issues.

Ann’s Story

There was no indication anything was seriously wrong when Ann woke up with what she thought was indigestion one morning.

She took some antacid medication, but the discomfort persisted and became more painful. On her daughter’s advice, Ann called her GP and even drove herself to her appointment.

Ann had had a heart attack, which was only finally revealed by a series of blood tests and an angiogram at hospital almost a week after she first felt unwell.

On the road to recovery, Ann physically felt better but she was scared and anxious that it would happen again. That’s when she called our Advice Line.

She says:

“I was physically feeling better and able to do things around the house and do a little walking, but mentally it was very hard. I was scared to go to sleep because I’d woken up with the heart attack and so I was worried it would happen again.

“That’s why it was such a relief to get the support of Alan at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. He understood what I was going through both physically and mentally, and that was what had been missing. I could ask Alan practical questions and he provided the answers I needed in relation to exercise.

“My calls with Alan have now ended, and my only regret is not signing up to them sooner. It made such a difference to my recovery to have someone to talk to.

Alan told me I could call the Advice Line at any time and ask to speak to him. It’s an excellent service, and I am grateful to have benefited from it.”

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