Improve menopause support in Primary Care!
I’m Liz, and I’m a Practice Nurse. I have two questions:
Do you want to see a change in menopause support in Primary Care? Do you want access to free and professional information and advice on menopause?
My desire to make a change to the way women are supported in Primary Care was borne of my own difficult experience of early menopause, in a time when the M word was only whispered. The emotional symptoms were unreal, and not knowing why I was feeling the way I did, was a double whammy. After a matter-of-fact telephone call from my GP, I was relieved to know there was a reason for my irrational thinking, inability to find the right words, low mood, and rumination (I could go on), but oh, my heart was broken. And the embarrassment and the shame.
After coming to terms with the diagnosis (a long process), and doing my research, I completed British Menopause Society accredited courses, and now carry out menopause consultations at my GP surgery. I was asked by patients, and friends alike, why every surgery doesn’t have a nurse trained in menopause. Good question. Unfortunately, the answer is funding or lack of. So began my petition to improve menopause support in Primary Care.
Menopause is now a hot topic, and women are bombarded with information (and misinformation) about hormonal and non-hormonal treatment options. For some women, symptoms can be so debilitating, that they will purchase costly and/or unregulated products if they claim to offer symptom relief. Trained Practice Nurses can provide information on treatment options and lifestyle choices and have a crucial role to play in health promotion and disease prevention. Women are living longer than men, but are living longer in ill health, with conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
Furthermore, Practice Nurses are trained in cervical and breast screening, as well as contraception and sexual health, but not menopause. Why?
If healthcare professionals need convincing of the benefits, training Practice Nurses in menopause will help to take pressure off overstretched GPs and reduce the financial burden on the NHS, by improving the long-term health outcomes for women. On the subject of finance, some women will choose to see a menopause specialist, but private consultations should be optional, not a necessity.
If you answered yes to my questions at the start of this post, please sign this petition: Fund menopause awareness training for Practice Nurses – Petitions (parliament.uk)
We have nothing to lose. Thank you!