Wendy Madden, Project Manager/Nurse Menopause Lead

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

What interventions or actions did you put in place to support nurses or midwives?

University Hospitals Birmingham has created the first NHS Menopause Passport.  This was following feedback from staff who attend the Women’s Staff Network, and the M Club – a menopause peer to peer support group.

Alongside other health and wellbeing offers, the trust has a dedicated lead nurse and a Gynaecologist Consultant who specialises in the menopause.

We have also has trained 300 menopause champions and there are 43 active champions supporting staff going through the menopause across all sites.

Furthermore, the trust has produced supporting guidance, an animation video for managers, and run a series of bespoke webinars and clinics for staff.

 

Why did you decide this was important?

This was important as 75% of the workforce will be impacted by the menopause in their career.  Currently, more than 4,000 of those are women are between 45-55 years of age.  The trust therefore recognised the need to help staff feel supported as they approach and experience the menopause.

For many women menopause symptoms adversely affect their daily life, work, relationships and also their future health.

Research suggests one in ten women leave their jobs, whilst many others reduce their hours or step back from career progression due to the impact of the menopause.

 

How did you go about it?

1.    Gaining Executive support to create change for those experiencing the menopause or who are perimenopausal, via the Fairness Taskforce chaired at Executive level

2.    Creation of the Menopause Passport as a tool.  This was developed to go with supporting guidance.

3.    Facilitating cultural change so that open conversations can take place via:

– a series of webinars held for staff and managers

– an animation video developed to showcase the menopause passport and signpost to available resources

– key departments targeted to help the implementation of the cultural change

– a peer to peer support group called the M Club

 

How do you know it has been sucessful in supporting colleague's to continue their NHS Career and not leave the NHS?

Regular feedback provided from staff attending the M Club (peer to peer support group), the Women’s staff Network, other staff Networks and the Health and Wellbeing hubs has been overwhelmingly positive.

The number of Passports downloaded has also highlighted the demand.

This is further supported by the services being accessed via the specific clinics run by our Gynaecologist Consultant and other services being accessed by Occupational Health/the Health and Wellbeing hubs.

Managers and staff have indicated that this passport and interventions to change the culture towards the menopause increases staff wellbeing and reduces absenteeism or staff leaving work.

 

What 3 suggestions would you make to colleagues considering implementing similar change?

1.    Utilise the Menopause Passport

2.    Ensure you support those going through the menopause by putting guidance out that supports the passport

3.    Get senior management and executive support early to create a cultural change with discussions about the menopause