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Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust launch campaign to break taboo surrounding menopause by holding conference at Newark Hospital





A campaign to break the taboo surrounding the menopause has been launched by Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ­— and it hopes other employers will follow suit.

The new initiative aims to raise awareness of the impact of the menopause on women at work, and offer guidance on how they can be supported.

A conference was held at Newark Hospital last week for staff and managers, supported by a trust-wide menopause guidance document.

Menopause In The Workplace, Newark Hospital. 170119TV1-1.jpg..(Julia to provide names if required).. (6582454)
Menopause In The Workplace, Newark Hospital. 170119TV1-1.jpg..(Julia to provide names if required).. (6582454)

Half of the women working at the hospital are over the age of 50.

The trust’s chief nurse, Suzanne Banks, said: “The changing face of our workforce here means that more women going through the menopause are at work.

“With women working longer nowadays, most of these women will go through the menopause during their working life.”

Suzanne said the trust was one of the first to put best practice into place and talk openly about menopause, and encouraged other employers to do the same.

The menopause is a natural part of ageing that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. In medical terms, it is the point at which a woman has not had a period for 12 months.

The average age for a woman to reach the menopause is 51, but about one in 100 will experience a premature menopause, before the age of 40.

The peri-menopause is the period leading up the menopause, when women may also experience symptoms.

While some women barely notice the changes, others may have a whole range of symptoms.

These can be physical, including hot flushes, sleeplessness, joint pains and headaches. Some women may also have psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, memory problems, loss of confidence, depression and mood swings.

Symptoms can be often managed by a combination of medical and natural approaches, and women are encouraged to talk to their GP in the first instance to discuss options, which might include hormone replacement therapy, or lifestyle changes.

Suzanne said: “I am extremely passionate about how we support our female workers on issues surrounding the menopause.

Menopause In The Workplace, Newark Hospital...Health and Wellbeing Lead, Charlotte Ranchordas provides information about the relationship between Menopause and alchohol. 170119TV1-2. (6582493)
Menopause In The Workplace, Newark Hospital...Health and Wellbeing Lead, Charlotte Ranchordas provides information about the relationship between Menopause and alchohol. 170119TV1-2. (6582493)

“Menopause can still be considered a taboo subject, but this will start to change for us.

“We are encouraging everyone to talk about it openly. After all, it’s a natural phase in a woman’s life and it’s time that workplaces like ours understood that and put the right support in place for the women that need it.”

The trust’s guidance document has advice for staff and line managers about making life easier for those with symptoms at work, including simple adaptations such as providing a desk fan or desk next to a window for women having hot flushes.

Suzanne said that the symptom that had most affected her personally was memory loss. She recalled being asked two questions at a conference and, despite knowing the answers to both, by the time the second question was asked she had forgotten the first one.

“This is not just an issue for women,” she said. “Men should be aware too so that they can support colleagues, patients, friends and family

“Together let’s create a culture where menopause is not hidden.”



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