Somerset NHS Menopause Service
In 2022, we started a one-year pilot for the Somerset NHS Menopause Service. This has been extended for a further one year in 2023.
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The majority of women will have some menopausal symptoms in midlife, lasting on average for around seven years. These can be physical and/or psychological symptoms and can have a severe impact on quality of life for some women.
One in ten women who have worked during the menopause have left a job due to their symptoms. This is also a peak time for relationship breakdowns and even suicide in women.
There has been a lot of discussion about the effects of the menopause recently, but we know that some women still struggle to get access to timely and evidence-based menopause care.
There are still many myths about who can and can’t have HRT, based on outdated research from 20 years ago. Some women are still being denied HRT unnecessarily. Others may suffer many different symptoms over years before someone joins the dots and realises that lack of oestrogen is the root cause.
Somerset NHS Menopause Service
The service started seeing patients in April 2022 and funding has now been extended until the end of March 2024.
The aims of the service are to improve the quality of life and long-term health of mid-life women in Somerset.
The service provides specialist menopause advice to Somerset GPs and assesses complex patients via face-to-face appointments if needed.
Women can be referred to the service via their GP if:
- they have a complicated medical history and the GP is not sure if HRT is suitable for them
- if they are struggling to find the right HRT option
- if they need advice on other options if they don’t want to, or are unable to, take HRT
- if they have a low libido despite being well established on a suitable dose of oestrogen through the skin and want to consider the option of adding in testosterone
How can women in Somerset experiencing symptoms associated with menopause access help?
Most women with menopausal symptoms can be managed by their GP. If you are having difficulty accessing HRT and meet the referral criteria listed here, you can ask your GP to write to Dr Balfour for advice or, if indicated, a face-to-face appointment at the clinic, based at the Glastonbury Surgery.
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The menopause webinars for Somerset patients have proved popular. They have provided advice on a range of topics, helped corrected misinformation around the menopause and discussed the importance of lifestyle issues.
Watch the latest Menopause and HRT webinar
As part of the initial one-year pilot project commissioned by NHS Somerset, the Somerset Menopause Service ran a series of free Menopause & HRT webinars for residents in Somerset to understand the symptoms of menopause, ask questions and find out what support is available in Somerset.
Our most recent webinar took place on Wednesday 1 March 7pm and is available to watch for free below.
British Sign Language pre-recorded webinar available
A recording of our first webinar is suitable for those who need a British Sign Language interpreter and is available to watch on our YouTube channel here. The content covered is the same as our latest webinar featured above.
Helpful Resources for you
We have put together a free Menopause resource pack which provides useful information and links to help you understand and manage the symptoms of the menopause.
Educating Healthcare Professionals
As part of the service, we will also be providing in-person and virtual training for GPs, nurse practitioners and nurses working in primary care around the many menopausal and perimenopausal symptoms to look out for and the safe prescribing of HRT. Increased education and training will help raise awareness amongst healthcare professionals in Somerset of the huge and long-lasting impact of the menopause on women’s health.
For more information on how you can access help via your GP and for useful resources around the menopause visit: