Endometriosis Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) in Wales have been awarded the Welsh Pharmacy Award for Developments in Female Health. The annual event is an opportunity for pharmacy professionals across a diverse range of disciplines to celebrate innovation and best practice.
The award recognised the development of Endometriosis Clinical Nurse Specialists for each Health Board in Wales. The role of a CNS is to improve access to services for girls and women.
Endometriosis affects one in ten women and can cause serious pain, having a significant impact on quality of life for girls and women affected by the condition. The new CNSs mark a positive step in improving awareness and diagnosis of endometriosis in Wales. The nurses are working together to share best practice across the region.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
In 2018, the Task and Finish Group was commissioned by the Welsh Government to assess the service provision and access to care for girls and women with endometriosis in Wales. One of the several recommendations was that each Health Board would employ an Endometriosis Clinical Nurse Specialist.
The main driver for this development was to improve access to management and support, and improve service provision in primary and secondary care - delays to diagnosis have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This has resulted in a significant increase in severity of the impact of endometriosis symptoms. The CNSs are able to provide rapid access for review, management of symptoms and contact for support.
Liz Bruen, Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Nurse Specialist, who has played a leading role in establishing the endometriosis CNS provision in Wales, said: “Having dedicated nurses for endometriosis is going to make a really meaningful impact for people with suspected or diagnosed endometriosis in Wales. It is well known that diagnosis of endometriosis can be challenging and this has a serious impact. I’m proud to have been part of the development of this programme and am excited to see how we can further develop services. The Welsh Pharmacy Award is testament to the work that has happened to make this possible.”
Women’s Health Implementation Group Wales (WHIG) has developed a website on endometriosis for patients and clinicians. Visit the Endometriosis Cymru website for information about endometriosis including a symptom tracker and diagnosis tools.