Menopause Passport Introduced By NHS Trust Boosting Wellbeing

Menopause passport introduced by NHS trust boosting wellbeing

Employees who participated in a "menopause passport" program say it improved their confidence and emotional well-being.

The University Hospitals Birmingham initiative is thought to be the first of its kind in the NHS.

The personalized passport allows women to indicate when they require additional assistance at work.

Wendy Madden, a nurse who took 11 weeks off work due to menopausal symptoms, came up with the idea.

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Changes may include taking more breaks, working different shifts, or sitting closer to the restrooms and air conditioning.

"We're individualizing that person's individual menopause journey and what support they need at different stages of their journey," Ms. Madden explained.

Gina Ross, a hospital porter, said she had been suffering from hot flushes, insomnia, and bouts of depression for the past year.

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She is also one of an estimated three million working-age women who are going through menopause.

"At first, I didn't want to come to work," she admitted.

She also expressed embarrassment after experiencing memory loss.

"I thought to myself, 'Oh my God, what is happening to me?'"

Attending a support group, she added, had helped.

University Hospitals Birmingham is one of England's largest hospital trusts, employing over 18,000 women, 5,000 of whom are over the age of 50.

Along with the passport, the trust has appointed a group of menopause champions who will serve as points of contact for people who want to learn more about the condition.

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Corrine Baylis, for example, stated that her interventions had an impact on the staff's emotional well-being at work.

Last month ministers rejected a proposal from a committee of MPs to introduce "menopause leave" pilots in England, arguing it could be "counterproductive". The government, on the other hand, stated that it has an "ambitious" plan to increase support.

A team of menopause champions has been assigned to the West Midlands NHS trust as points of contact for any staff members who are experiencing difficulties or want to learn more.

Debs Wallbank, from Much Wenlock in Shropshire, became a menopause coach after suffering from undiagnosed symptoms such as anxiety for six years, forcing her to leave several jobs.

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"It's not about labeling women," she explained, "but about raising awareness so that people can be more compassionate and make small changes that don't have to cost anything."

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