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NHS Patients To Be Offered Free Tampons For First Time

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NHS Patients To Be Offered Free Tampons For First Time

Women and girls in hospital will now be offered free tampons and other menstrual products from this summer, NHS England announced.

A British Medical Association campaign found that a number of hospitals supply razors and shaving foam to men, while women were left without sanitary products.

All women and girls being cared for by the national health service in England will now be able to ask for pads, pantyliners and tampons if and when they need them.

Credit: Pixabay
Credit: Pixabay
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NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said it was "absolutely right" that women and girls could access these essentials while in hospital.

"It's fundamental that we give patients the best experience possible during what can be a stressful time of their life, and by providing sanitary products the NHS can prevent unnecessary embarrassment and leave people to focus on their recovery," he added.

Charity Freedom4Girls - which campaigns against period poverty - welcomed the move and said that tampons must be "readily available everywhere".

"This is a great initiative and is a fantastic step forward," said founder Tina Leslie said, "NHS England have stepped up to the mark and been proactive in ensuring that hospital patients get tampons and sanitary towels."

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Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

British Medical Association's (BMA) campaign, carried out in February, found two out of five UK hospital trusts didn't provide menstrual products to patients when they needed them, or only in emergencies.

It found that there was nowhere to buy tampons and pads at 27 trusts either. Some hospitals already provide sanitary products but it will now be mandatory for all.

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Chairwoman of BMA's Board of Sciende Dame Parveen Kumar said: "We are pleased that our work, since then, with NHS England has culminated in such a successful result for women, bringing an end to indignity on top of ill-health.

"As well being an important influence in the shift that is necessary towards ending period poverty, this will be a relief for many patients who will no longer face the embarrassment and stress of not being able to freely and easily access sanitary pads and tampons."

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Topics: Life News, News, Periods, Period poverty, Health

Rachel Andrews
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