In recognition of World Menopause Day on Tuesday this week, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Menopause (APPG) has published its final report.
The aim was to assess the level of understanding around menopause amongst policymakers, employers, the medical profession and the wider public, as well as to consider how the government could drive policy change to improve the experience of women going through the menopause in the UK.
The group considered the impact of menopause on women as well as the wider impact it has on families and within society; women’s experiences of menopause and the support available in the workplace; the availability of and access to medical treatments to manage menopause symptoms; the training of medical professionals and adequacy of their understanding of menopause symptoms and treatments; and other options for women offered through alternative and future menopause treatment pathways.
Following a year-long inquiry, the report concluded that although 51 per cent of the population will experience the menopause, the entrenched taboo around women’s health issues has meant that the support for the 13 million women currently going through peri-menopause or menopause is completely inadequate.
The APPG is particularly concerned about the socio-economic divide emerging between women who are able to access the right treatment, and those who lose out in the postcode lottery and do not have the financial means to seek treatment elsewhere.
The report contains 13 recommendations for the government, the NHS and other bodies, which include the need to:
- Scrap prescription costs for HRT in England as a matter of urgency, as the devolved nations have done.
- Implement a health check for all women at 45 to help diagnose menopause at an earlier stage.
- Fund new research into the real benefits of HRT and the link between menopause and serious health conditions.
- Co-ordinate an employer-led campaign and improve guidance to encourage greater support for menopause in the workplace.
- Create a National Formulary for HRT and include menopause in the GP Quality and Outcomes Framework to improve menopause diagnosis and treatment.
- Provide updated menopause training for GPs and other healthcare professionals.
To read the report in full, click here.