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NCH&C featured in Nursing Standard article on menopause in the workplace

NCH&C featured in Nursing Standard article on menopause in the workplace

Although menopause is a natural experience as a woman’s oestrogen levels decline with age, it can create unpleasant symptoms that affect quality of life.

Representatives from NCH&C recently took part in an NHS Employers webinar to discuss how NHS trusts can support members of staff experiencing the menopause. Nursing Standard published this article about the webinar and what NHS trusts are doing to support menopausal employees.

Just like any other health condition, experiencing the menopause may interfere with an employee’s work. The Nursing Standard article explains what NCH&C does to support staff going through the menopause, including menopause guidance and a staff facilities map showing the locations of amenities such as showers, toilets and restrooms across the trust area. The trust also sought feedback from staff to learn more about their experiences of menopause, and the support they wanted.

NCH&C’s health and wellbeing initiative to support staff going through the menopause were developed in partnership with UNISON Norfolk Community Health.

The symptoms of menopause include hot flushes, difficulty sleeping, mood changes, problems with memory and concentration, headaches, muscle weakness, and general aches and pains. These physical symptoms can also affect the sufferer’s mental health and self-esteem. The menopause usually happens to women between the ages of 45 and 55. Trans men may also experience the menopause.

Even though menopause is a natural part of life for most women, many may feel uncomfortable discussing menopause-related issues with their manager. This could result in staff ‘suffering in silence’, feeling unable to attend medical appointments or adjust their working environment or pattern to suit their health needs.

Managing the menopause at work may be especially difficult for those in roles such as nursing, which can be quite physically demanding.

There is plenty of evidence that shows that menopause symptoms can impact employee’s attendance and performance at work. With menopausal women the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace, this makes menopause and organisational issue, not just a women’s health issue.