Chairing the ‘Miss Diagnosis’ Panel Event, Disability Stockport 40th Anniversary Festival 2019

Chairing the ‘Miss Diagnosis’ Panel Event, Disability Stockport 40th Anniversary Festival 2019

‘Miss Diagnosis’ – Disability Stockport 40th Anniversary Festival

Thursday 18th July 2019 held at the Plaza Theatre Green Room

An evening of discussion about incorrect diagnosis of women and the journey to receive the correct diagnosis.


I was honoured to be asked to chair a panel discussion alongside other global disrupters.  It was a brilliant yet emotional event.

Thank you to Carol Ann - Disability Stockport @DisabilitySK, Sara McKee FRSA FCIM - Evermore Founder @SaraMcKeeFRSA, Aba Graham - Director Aspiring Boldly Associates CIC @aspiringboldly and Steph Sherratt -  Project Manager at Breaking Barriers @BarriersNW for joining me on the panel.

Great venue @StockportPlaza1, perfect for a confirmed afternoon tea addict like myself.

Women in general put the health and wellbeing of their children and partner first, and when they do visit a health professional there is a good reason for it.

There is a high incidence of misdiagnosis within the general population, but it is not disaggregated in terms of gender.

The most common areas of misdiagnosis in women are heart attacks, fibromyalgia strokes, endometriosis, lupus and MS.

Women cite three main reasons why they feel they are misdiagnosed:

Other factors which can influence misdiagnosis are fear within health professionals about repercussions as a result of getting it wrong.

In the UK, the only avenue for redress and acquiring any resultant support is via legal action - unlike for instance New Zealand, where if things do go wrong, the state puts everything that is needed because of it in place, eliminating the need for litigation and leading to a much more open and transparent system.

There is also a genuine desire to reach the right diagnosis, as symptoms of different health conditions can mirror each other.

As part of setting the scene, I shared a poem I wrote for the occasion titled ‘Misdiagnosis’

Panel members all echoed that a key factor was not being listened to at the point that their instinct, - many a time, over and over again - was telling them something was seriously wrong.

I posed three questions to the panel:

The key elements to come out of the Panel include:


Comments from our panel speakers:

Sara McKee FRSA FCIM - Founder, Evermore  @SaraMcKeeFRSA,

“Lobby - Parity of physical health and mental health. Need to be government backed”

Aba Graham - Director, Aspiring Boldly Associates CIC @aspiringboldly

“Trying to manage memory loss and hearing.  Workplace needs to recognise it and support. If it’s invisible it’s ten times harder. Look at how they treat people”

Steph Sherratt -  Project Manager, Breaking Barriers @BarriersNW

“Creativity. Stop creating boxes and putting people in boxes..The creativity and talent come from the differences”


In conclusion, the following are required to improve women’s experiences and reduce misdiagnosis:

We now look forward to continuing the debate.

July 2019. Jacqueline Winstanley - Founder & CEO  Universal Inclusion @univinclusion

Acknowledgment with thanks to Disability Stockport @DisabilitySK, and The Zebra Partnership @Zebra_carol