Practice nurses and GPs should receive standardised menopause training, focusing on the root causes of symptoms and how they overlap with other conditions, it has been suggested.
The mandatory menopause training proposal is part of a summary of written responses from 436 organisations and experts, collected between March and June 2021 and published by the DHSC today ahead of the Women’s Health Strategy for England due later this year.
The experts also said nurses, nurses and other healthcare professionals must be educated about premenstrual disorders, and also recommended training across the NHS – including GP services – to ‘better support women with fertility or pregnancy-related issues or trauma’.
Respondents also said NICE guidelines and quality standards on endometriosis should be ‘fully and consistently implemented’ across the NHS to improve endometriosis care, reduce diagnostic times and avoid multiple repeat general practice, hospital and A&E visits.
In addition, they called for better acknowledgement between gynaecological conditions and mental health, and encouragement for nursing and midwifery services to work with specialist deaf organisations to improve their deaf awareness and sign language skills in maternity services.
Maria Caulfield, women’s health minister, said: ‘For generations, women have lived in a healthcare system primarily designed by men, for men. We are committed to tackling the gender health gap, and the publication of our strategy later this year will mark a significant step forward.
‘I want to thank the expert individuals and organisations who took the time to respond to our call for evidence. The insights you have provided have been stark and sobering, but will be pivotal to ensuring our strategy represents the first-hand experiences of the health care system.’
The Women’s Health Strategy was originally due in spring 2022, but the DHSC has now said it is due ‘later this year’. Nursing in Practice has asked DHSC for clarification.
This comes after mental health experts said health visitors and midwives should receive further dedicated training in maternal mental health because they are essential to women’s wellbeing.