The NHS has appointed Sue Mann, a consultant and lead for women’s health in City and Hackney, North East London, as its first-ever national clinical director for women’s health.

In her new role, Sue will help implement the ‘Women’s Health Strategy’ alongside supporting the roll out of women’s health hubs across England.

She will also work on developing a network of women’s health champions, made up of senior leaders in every local care system, to drive forward work to improve women’s health.

Sue said, “Having spent my career researching, treating, and developing policy and initiatives focused on women’s health, I have seen firsthand the challenges many women face, as well as the progress that has been made through better understanding and awareness of conditions affecting women.

“While our understanding and treatment of women’s healthcare has come a long way, we know there is still a lot more we need to do, and I am excited to be able to play a role in that as the first national clinical director for women’s health, working with colleagues in the NHS to help shape important policy and improve the experiences of women’s health in England.”

Alongside extensive clinical and academic work, Sue spearheaded the development of Women’s Health Hubs in London City and Hackney, as well as implementing virtual group consultations for common women’s health problems – both of which feature in the ‘Women’s Health Strategy’.

The new position has been announced alongside six other national clinical directors who have been recruited on three-year tenures or part-time secondments and will carry out their national role alongside their clinical duties.

Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director, said, “National clinical directors play a crucial role in supporting NHS England to deliver our key ambitions – they provide clinical advice and leadership to help drive transformation of services for patients, and ensure an NHS fit for the future, which is why it is a hugely positive step forward that we have announced a new role as part of this cohort – our first ever dedicated NCD for women’s health.

“The seven people announced today bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge and I am looking forward to working alongside them and our wider group of NCDs and national specialty advisors to continue to develop and drive forward the work we do across the NHS to provide the best possible care for patients.”

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said, “The NHS is committed to meeting women’s individual healthcare needs, including supporting all local areas to develop a women’s health hub by December 2024, which will improve women’s health outcomes by providing better menstrual health services, menopause assessment and treatment, and more.

“The appointment of Sue Mann as national clinical director for women’s health will help us build on and further improve the work the NHS has been doing, making it as easy as possible for women to access advice and care for their specific needs, and significantly improve patient experience.”

Maria Caulfield, Minister for Women’s Health Strategy, said, “This appointment will support the ongoing success of our Women’s Health Strategy to reset the dial and improve healthcare for women.

“Our strategy sets out the importance of dedicated expertise and leadership in women’s health and this new role will help make sure women’s needs are at the heart of decision making.

“I warmly welcome all the new clinical directors, and look forward to working with Sue Mann in particular to improve the care received by women across England.”