NHS Scotland launches menopause and menstrual health policy

NHS Scotland menopause menstrualNHS Scotland has introduced a menopause and menstrual health workplace policy in order to create an environment where its female employees feel confident in raising health issues.

The policy, which applies to all employees, bank, agency and sessional workers, reflects recommendations from a study of NHS employees by Professor Kathleen Riach, supported by the Scottish government.

Its aim is to support employees in their experience of menstrual health and menopause in the workplace and help them to minimise the impact, offer support, solutions and adjustments, and foster a culture of awareness through education, inclusive discussions and compassionate management.

The policy also provides advice and guidance on how employees can be supported when experiencing symptoms that affect their work and enabling conversations to create an environment where they feel more confident to seek support.

It outlines what managers can do to support affected employees, such as referring to occupational health service where appropriate to seek advice and support, accessing appropriate information to increase their own knowledge and awareness, and making sure employees are aware of sources of help within NHS Scotland.

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The policy also includes further guidance on how to review support arrangements regularly, as menstrual health and menopause symptoms can change over time, and adopt a person-centred approach to an employee experiencing challenges due to symptoms through supportive conversations and adjustments.

Riach said: “NHS Scotland’s menopause and menstrual health workplace policy marks a vital step in ensuring all employees are valued, supported, and recognised as an integral part of the country’s workforce, no matter their age or stage of their reproductive lives. By identifying and scaling some of the best practice currently existing across the NHS Scotland workforce, as well as introducing new evidence-based practices, this policy will ensure the menstrual status of women is no barrier to jobs and careers in healthcare.”