Menopause Awareness Month 2022

Menopause can affect every part of a person’s life, including their work. As a leading employer in the healthcare sector with a workforce of over 300 people, we recognise our responsibility to support our colleagues and patients through one of life’s most significant transitions.

According to a May 2022 survey by the Fawcett Society, 1 in 10 people going through the menopause leave work as a result of their symptoms. We want to support our colleagues through this time in their life, and make sure relevant adjustments are made so they can be happy, motivated, and comfortable at work.

Our clinicians can access menopause training, helping them to feel confident in addressing these health concerns during consultations, improving outcomes for menopausal patients.

In September, we introduced our new Menopause Champions and launched a Menopause Policy. We hope that these two initiatives will help both colleagues who are experiencing the menopause first-hand, and those who are supporting friends and family.

62% of respondents to the Fawcett Society survey felt that menopause symptoms had affected their ability to do their job, yet only 22% disclosed their menopause status at work.

We’re on a mission to ensure that people can talk openly about menopause at OneMedical Group, and feel confident that support is in place for them. Information about the menopause is now included in induction for all colleagues, so everyone is empowered with the information of what we’re doing as an organisation.

To create our Menopause Policy, we listened to insights from across our organisation, including experts in reproductive health and those with lived experience of menopause. The Policy defines roles and responsibilities for supporting individuals experiencing the menopause, includes lists of resources available, describes how to contact our new Menopause Champions, and includes appendices such as a menopause symptom tracker, as well as guidelines for how to talk to your GP about the menopause.

77% of people going through the menopause experience one or more symptoms they describe as ‘difficult’.

Our policy includes recommended adjustments for a range of symptoms.

84% of respondents to the Fawcett Society survey stated that they struggled with difficulty sleeping or exhaustion during the menopause. At OneMedical Group, these colleagues could be offered flexible working, regular breaks, or adjustments to physical tasks. 70% of respondents found hot flushes difficult to deal with during the menopause, and we support colleagues to have control over the temperature of their workspace, make adaptations to uniforms, and access dedicated rest spaces.

Our Menopause Champions are subject matter experts and advocates. They act as a friendly ear, giving advice and support to anyone with questions or worries about the menopause.

We also champion wellness throughout menopause for our patients.

Whitehouse Surgery in Milton Keynes hosts coffee mornings for those experiencing menopause and perimenopause, where patients can discuss their experiences and receive peer support. The informal setting gives space to share and learn, with guest speakers adding extra insight.

We’re proud to support menopausal colleagues and patients during this important life stage. We will continue to grow and develop this policy and others to make sure that we’re putting people first.