Managing the Menopause
We are increasingly having more conversations with staff who are struggling with the menopause at work. Of our workforce, 75% of NUH staff are female of which 24% are between 45-55yrs old (as of July 2019) therefore, large numbers will be going through the Menopause at any one time. We want to support staff to feel as though they can manage their symptoms well at work and foster an environment in which staff can talk openly to their colleagues and manager about the menopause.
NUH is now a Menopause Friendly Employer!
We are delighted to announce that NUH has been awarded the Menopause Friendly Employer Accreditation. This is a huge achievement and we are thrilled to be recognised for something we feel so passionate about. We are the first NHS Trust in the country to be awarded this and we could not have done this without the support of Nottingham Hospitals Charity who funded the processes so we could go ahead with the accreditation.
Over the years we have spoken to many of you who have struggled with menopause at work and know the challenges you have faced. In 2019 we set up a Menopause Working Group and from that we have:
- Written a comprehensive Menopause Policy
- Guidance documents for managers and employees
- Menopause Support sessions
- Menopause Awareness sessions for managers and colleagues
- Lightweight uniform options
- Menopause advocates
- Raised awareness of issues around menopause
“We’ve thoroughly assessed all aspects of the excellent work Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have done. Their menopause programme clearly demonstrates that providing colleagues with the right awareness, education and support is important to them. They’ve created a culture enabling people to talk about menopause openly, launched a comprehensive policy, regularly provide expert training and engaged their colleagues, including creating a strong network of menopause advocates. We're delighted to recognise them as the UK's first accredited Menopause Friendly NHS Trust.” Evelyn Dickey, Menopause Friendly’s Independent Panel member (and Non-Executive Director of Nuclear Decommissioning Authority).
You can find out more information about all the support we offer below:
In order to create a culture where staff feel comfortable talking about the menopause and how it's affecting them at work, we have put together some guidelines which staff will hopefully find useful.
Firstly, there are Guidelines for Employees - these focus on how to have a conversation with your line manager about how your menopause is affecting you at work and what support you may find useful as you are going through the menopause. Guidance for Employees .pdf
Secondly, there are Guidelines for Managers - these are specifically for any line manager who is managing a member of staff going through the menopause. It explains what the menopause is and how you can support your member of staff to manage their symptoms better at work, thus being happier and more productive. Guidance for Managers .pdf
NHS England have created a new online menopause elearning resource. It has some really good information in there and only takes around 30 minutes to complete.
Menopause Awareness – elearning for healthcare (e-lfh.org.uk)
Menopause and peri-menopause are very personal experiences and will differ from individual to individual. Symptoms will fluctuate during the course of the menopause. Different levels of adjustments and support may be required at different times based on individual needs. Menopause is a transition of life and it’s not something which is ‘taboo’ or off limits as a topic of conversation. We want all our colleagues to feel comfortable and supported at work. The policy aims to:
- Provide guidance and information for all staff on the potential impact of the menopause in the workplace
- Outline the requirements for all staff experiencing peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms that are affecting them in the workplace to so they can continue to be successful in their roles and responsibilities.
- Acknowledge that menopause awareness is not just for women, it is for all colleagues.
You can find a copy of the policy here: Staff Perimenopause and Menopause Policy.pdf [pdf] 570KB (The appendix of this policy includes guidance sheets on how to prepare and have a conversation with your line manager as well as how to have a conversation with your GP.)
Everything You Need to Know About The Menopause
Led by a Specialist Consultant in the menopause, these workshops dive a little deeper in to what the menopause is and focuses on how you can manage to symptoms via diet, lifestyle as well as busting some myths around HRT. They are always super popular so booking is essential. Please email us if you would like to be added to the waiting list.
Menopause Support Session
This menopause support session is for all women, those who menstruate and those who will go through menopause. Whether you are going through it yourself or you are simply curious to listen to the experiences of others. All we ask is that strict confidentiality is kept with respect and support upheld by all. We are here to describe and not prescribe- no advice, information, medical advice or product promotion will take place at this session.
Menopause and Pelvic Health
One of our Staff Physiotherapist delivers this special seminar exploring pelvic health factors that can be helpful in managing your menopause, including those that may impact on symptoms, and prevent against future conditions linked to the menopause. The hour seminar will cover the prevention and management of urinary urgency/frequency/incontinence, bowel symptoms & prolapse.
Mindfulness for Menopause
Recent studies have suggested that mindfulness may be a promising tool to help menopausal women struggling with irritability, anxiety, and depression. This session will guide you through how to be more mindful during your menopause and how to use mindfulness to cope with your symptoms.
Eating for The Menopause
Join our Staff Dietitian for a seminar exploring diet and nutrition factors that can be helpful in managing your menopause, including those that may impact on symptoms, and prevent against future conditions linked to the menopause.
The one hour seminar will cover phytoestrogens, bone health, heart health, caffeine, alcohol, sleep, and exercise. These are information based group seminars.
Our EAP Health Assured has created a 5 week course to help you understand the menopause better.
Session 1: Menopause overview
Session 2: Identifying triggers
Session 3: Managing symptoms part 1
Session 4: Managing Symptoms part 2
Session 5: Maintaining goals, support networks and coping strategies
Throughout the trust we now have a number of menopause advocates, these advocates might run some of the information seminars for staff groups, departments and teams. They are also availible to have short 1-1 convosation with individuals who would like further sign posting, a compassionate conversation which may include experience sharing or simply a listening ear. If you would like to get in touch with an advocate then please contact us at: Staffwellbeing@nuh.nhs.uk
WHC-FACTSHEET-Menopause.pdf [pdf] 140KB - Womens Health Concern - What is the Menopause factsheet
BDA food fact sheet.pdf [pdf] 339KB - British Dietetic Association - Food and the Menopause factsheet
Exercise_through_Menopause.pdf [pdf] 137KB - Exercising through the Menopause factsheet
www.menopausematters.co.uk – Information and support website ran by GP’s
https://www.womens-health-concern.org - provides a confidential, independent service to advise, reassure and educate women on the menopause
www.daisynetwork.org.uk - provide support and information who are experiences premature menopause
https://henpicked.net/ - Lifestyle website for women over 40