How it all started

Women’s Health Care was founded in 1972 by a visionary nurse called Joan Jenkins. Joan was passionate about helping women with their healthcare needs, especially at a time when limited information was available.

WHC started as an open-access clinic in London and subsequently expanded its services to provide women with counselling and advice through its telephone advice line and email services.

In 1977 Women’s Health Care was legally constituted as a charitable organisation with Professor John Studd as Chairman from 1977 – 1978. Professor Studd was a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at King’s College Hospital, London. His early research was on chronic renal disease and high blood pressure in pregnancy, but later, Professor Studd established the first menopause clinic in the country in Birmingham in 1969, moving to KCH in 1974. In 2008 he was awarded the Blair Bell Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Medicine which is given every five years for the obstetrician/gynaecologist who has made the greatest lifetime contribution to the specialty. His interest in menopause and post reproductive health continues to this day.

In 1980 WHC became a registered charity and was renamed Women’s Health Concern. Dr Gerald Swyer was the first Chairman of the renamed charity from 1980 to 1993. Dr Swyer was a Consultant Endocrinologist at University College Hospital, London. He established the first Fertility Clinic in London, which he usually referred to as the Futility Clinic. He left a donation to WHC, the Gerald Swyer Memorial Trust, and this has been used to fund the memorial lecture at our Annual London Symposium.

In July 2012 Women’s Health Concern formally became the patient arm of British Menopause Society (BMS). This merger is enabling us to develop our charitable work whilst retaining our Women’s Health Concern branding and range of services for women of all ages. More about BMS