Free sanitary products to be offered to patients in NHS Wales

Female patients in hospitals across Wales will be able to access free sanitary products.

Wrexham’s Assembly Member, Lesley Griffiths has welcomed the announcement and believes it demonstrates with Welsh Labour Government’s ongoing commitment to tackling the issues surrounding ‘period poverty’ – when women and girls cannot afford basic sanitary products.

Currently the provision of sanitary products for hospitals inpatients varies across Wales as each health board has their own policy.  This latest move will ensure every patient in Wales is able to access essential period products.

It follows last year’s announcement when more than £1m was provided to schools and communities by the Welsh Government specifically aimed at addressing period poverty.

The measures being introduced at national level are being supported locally by WINGS Wrexham.

Set up in 2018 by a group of Wrexham women, the community project recognised the growing need to support women and girls in the area.

Concerned that girls may be absent from school as a consequence of period poverty, the WINGS Wrexham team contacted Wrexham Council.  To date, the group provides free sanitary products to all girls at two schools but plans are in the pipeline to eventually extend the scheme to every secondary school in Wrexham.

To ensure women in need are supported, WINGS Wrexham have initiated a partnership arrangement with Wrexham Foodbank.  Donation boxes have been set up in areas across the town, such as shops, offices, hairdressers and beauty salons, and WINGS Wrexham is working with a range of other agencies supporting families and young people, supplying them with free products.

Lesley Griffiths AM is a supporter of WINGS Wrexham and said: “It is an uncomfortable truth that many women and girls are finding the monthly purchase of sanitary products unaffordable.  This unnecessary inequality is totally unacceptable in modern society.”

“Patients should expect to receive the best possible care in comfort and dignity and while the Welsh Labour Government is taking steps to tackle period poverty at a national level, the work undertaken in a relatively short space of time by WINGS Wrexham is to be commended.”

WINGS Wrexham co-ordinator, Suzanne Nantcurvis said: “Period poverty not only affects many girls and young women’s health and wellbeing but it is also an affront to their dignity and it depresses aspirations.”

“WINGS Wrexham truly welcomes the support of the Welsh Government by making the products freely available in all NHS hospitals in Wales.”

More information about WINGS Wrexham can be found on their Facebook page.  You can contact WINGS Wrexham via their email address: [email protected]