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Movember's Ahead of the Game programmeImage by: Movember
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28 May 2024

A milestone in men's health: Health Select Committee inquiry recommends a Men’s Health Strategy

3 minutes read time

As a global leader in men’s health, Movember gave written and oral evidence alongside other organisations to the recent inquiry into Men’s Health, and today welcomes the letter from the Chair of the Committee to the Secretary of State, which recommends the next government take more action on men’s health.

The Health Select Committee concluded a full inquiry into the important and ‘hitherto neglected’ issue of men’s health and have today, Tuesday 28th May 2024, published a letter in place of a full report - which is no longer possible based on the timings of the general election announcement.

The Committee letter makes clear ‘there is no time to waste in addressing the serious problems in men’s health’ and recommends that the next government ‘publishes a men’s health strategy to complement the women’s health strategy’.

In response, Anne-Cécile Berthier, Movember UK’s Country Director, said

“This is a milestone for public health and a positive outcome for the 2.1 million people who have campaigned to give men’s health a voice and fundraised for Movember in the UK over the last 5 years. A men’s health strategy can support specific gender responsive healthcare policies and we strongly advocate for all parties to consider these findings in manifestoes and for the next government to deliver on men’s health as a priority.

We all have partners, fathers, brothers, sons, and mates that we love. Too many of these men are dying too young – and from largely preventable causes. This recommendation is a welcome step forward to changing the face of men’s health”.

The letter includes

  • A focus on doing more to prevent ill health among men. Aligning to Movember's work on early recognition of what men’s poor health looks like and our investments in men’s health literacy - which includes new investments in formal, informal, and online help seeking to improve preventative health and early intervention.
  • The value of voluntary and community organisations, with Movember’s Ahead of the Game programme cited as an example of work that engages young men with their physical and mental health. The committee recommend that “the Government and NHS England increase the level of funding they make available for working with community-based organisations
  • A recommendation that “a new men’s health strategy should specifically consider the way that the NHS services provide gender responsive care for men – including professional education and training for healthcare staff” aligning to a key priority of Movember as we continue to invest in Men’s Health Education programmes, to increase competence and confidence in healthcare practitioners to more effectively reach, respond to and retain men in care.

Men using the health care system

Movember notes the absence in the letter to highlight the need for more research into men’s health, which is essential to understanding men’s engagement with the health system and should be included as part of future strategies.

Movember recognise the vital need to accelerate research and translate it into tangible, real-world outcomes and so launched the Movember Institute of Men's Health in 2023 to deliver on that goal and invest in long term outcomes in men’s health.

Calling all politicians

In response to the letter and the general election announcement - Movember ask all politicians and aligned organisations to support men’s health strategies and the letter’s recommendations for gender responsive care.

Movember has been engaging fully with the inquiry ahead of its own men’s health report due to be published later this summer, advocating for universal recognition of gender as a social determinant of health and prioritising investment in gender responsive health care.

The time has come for change – for healthcare systems that meet the unique needs of all genders, and for government to act on men’s health issues.