The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, UK has launched a new menopause initiative as part of its staff wellness programme.
The Norfolk-based hospital made the decision to state that it is a menopause-friendly employer in its job adverts and aims to be a national leader in the NHS for menopause awareness. The workforce is around 77% female, with 12% of them between the ages of 45 and 50.
According to the trust, work around menopause awareness is part of a wider strategic priority to create an open culture for staff and improve wellbeing support. This includes training and awareness for managers and workers, a network of assistance through volunteer menopause champions, and a regular menopause clinic to bring support directly to employees going through the menopause and their families.
Caroline Shaw, chief executive of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, explained that the team is “passionate” about making the hospital a better place to work, which is why it has strengthened its staff engagement programme to ensure everyone feels listened to and supported.
“Going through the menopause can be an uncomfortable time and experiencing it within the workplace is an additional challenge. Women of menopausal age may need specific considerations and being a menopause-friendly employer is about encouraging conversations about what an individual is going through, which can reduce stress and improve the way colleagues feel about coming to work,” she said.
The hospital has appointed media personality, interior designer and menopause campaigner Meg Matthews to be its menopause ambassador, with the aim of breaking the stigma around it. Matthews said she personally struggled with 32 of the 34 symptoms and “can’t imagine” what it must be like for staff to experience that while working long shifts in a busy hospital.