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Average time to diagnose endometriosis in Scotland is eight and a half years

A report published today, that was commissioned by the Scottish Government and delivered by Endometriosis UK, a charity, has concluded that in Scotland, guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on quality standards for the treatment of endometriosis are not being met.  

Endometriosis is a condition where endometrial cells, the cells that go on to become the placenta during pregnancy, grow outside of the uterus, causing problems. Symptoms of endometriosis include chronic pelvic pain, painful periods, painful sex, bowel and bladder problems, fatigue and difficulty getting pregnant.

More than 100,000 live with the condition in Scotland which Endometriosis UK says costs the UK £8.2 billion per year in healthcare costs and time off work.

Frustration at the time it takes to get a confirmed diagnosis is endemic with 27% taking over ten years.

Diagnosis time 1
Scotland Only Responses from BBC Survey

The report sets out four key recommendations for the Scottish Government to implement:

  • Implementing NICE’s guideline and quality standard on endometriosis across Scotland – the research found that this base level of care “is not currently being met”
  • Facilitating relationship development between healthcare services through Managed Clinical Networks to allow for smoother referrals
  • Increasing education at primary and secondary care levels, with the analysis showing both GPs and non-specialist gynaecologists needing more education on the condition
  • Investing in endometriosis awareness through a public health campaign, as well as improved menstrual wellbeing education in schools and educating school nurses

“We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to drive waiting times down and improve endometriosis care. The average of 8.5 years1 – and in many cases, much longer – it takes those in Scotland to get a diagnosis is unacceptable. Even once diagnosed, many with endometriosis are not able to get the care they need including access to endometriosis specialist centres in line with relevant NICE guidance.”

Emma Cox, CEO of Endometriosis UK

You can find the full report here

Photo Credit: Department of Pathology, Calicut Medical College

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