This week's MP's column comes from Labour MP for Bradford South Judith Cummins

MUCH of the work of Parliament is done through All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs). 

I chair a number of these groups including the Rugby League APPG. 
Telegraph & Argus readers may have seen that as the Chair of this group I spoke to the Rugby Football League and helped overturn their decision on ceasing to fund the Bradford Bulls Elite academy. 

In this article I will share some other work that I am doing through APPGs.

I am a member of the newly-formed menopause APPG. Menopause is a health issue that affects almost one fifth of the population and that half of us will directly experience at some stage in our lives.

Often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and something of a taboo subject, approximately 13 million women in the UK are either perimenopausal or postmenopausal. 

The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline. 

While some women barely notice any changes, for others the effects on their health and wellbeing can be devastating – affecting their careers and ending relationships. And yet, recognition, support, and treatment are patchy at best. 

This is unacceptable for a health condition that is set to impact half the population. I am co-sponsoring a Bill in parliament on menopause support services and to exempt hormone replacement therapy (HRT) from NHS prescription charges.

Too many women are suffering unnecessarily, trying to cope with extreme symptoms without the correct treatment and support. 

Even when it is correctly diagnosed, women still face barriers to relief. 
Treatment, often in the form of multiple medications and HRT, has a hefty price tag.  

The Bill aims to resolve this so that women get better health guidance, improved recognition from their doctors, fully funded HRT treatments and changes in the workplace.

In a related move I am co-chairing a newly formed APPG on osteoporosis and bone health with the support of the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS). 

This is to raise awareness, influence legislation and improve the lives of people living with the condition.

There are 3.5 million people living with osteoporosis in the UK and it results in over half a million broken bones every year, this is also a condition that is rarely talked about and often goes undiagnosed.

Everyone loses bone density and strength as they get older, but women lose it more rapidly in the years following the menopause. 

With that comes a greater risk of breaking bones.

According to the ROS, a fifth of women who have broken a bone, break three or more before their osteoporosis is diagnosed. 

Through the APPG I will be pushing for earlier diagnoses to help prevent that first fracture as well as the important preventative work and treatments for bone health.
Beauty and wellbeing businesses are the lifeblood of our high streets. 

It is an industry predominantly run by women, for women, employing women. 
These small business owners, local entrepreneurs, are part of an industry that contributed up to £30 billion a year to the national economy.

The APPG on Beauty Aesthetics and Wellbeing, which I co-chair, has been leading an enquiry into non-surgical cosmetic procedures. 

Worryingly, it has found massive growth in short courses for advanced procedures such as injectables – including fillers and Botox. These are complex aesthetic procedures that can’t be taught in a day. 

A lack of national regulation around this ever-growing list of treatments available means that consumers can’t have the confidence that their treatment is being administered by someone properly trained. 

Alongside Laura Trott MP I have been working hard on outlawing injectables to those under 18.

To make sure that standards are lifted across the beauty industry, a certificate on the wall isn’t good enough. 

That’s why in Parliament I have called for the government to strengthen regulation and training for non-surgical treatment. 
It’s what the public expects and what the government needs to deliver.