Bupa Health Clinics is teaming up with the British Menopause Society to upskill a fifth of its GP workforce in menopause care.
The provider said that although many of the 45,000 GPs in the UK are experienced and knowledgeable in menopause, a knowledge gap still exists. Training in identifying and managing the menopause is not a compulsory part of GP training and NICE guidelines on menopause only came into place in 2015.
The partnership will mean that by the end of 2020, a fifth of Bupa Health Clinics’ GP workforce, including GPs based in corporate Bupa onsite clinics at HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Citi, will have undertaken the British Menopause Society’s two-day theory course in Menopause Care.
The course aims to improve a GP’s understanding of the menopause and its symptoms to better support their patients.
Alaana Linney, Bupa Health Clinics’ commercial director, warned that women are suffering unnecessarily because symptoms are at risk of being misdiagnosed and not understood.
“There are nine million women in the UK aged between 40 and 60. Those women are likely to be experiencing some of the numerous symptoms of menopause, but there is a high chance they may not have access to the right support,” she said.
Symptoms of the menopause can include debilitating anxiety, depression, joint pain and sleep problems.
Haitham Hamoda, chairman of the British Menopause Society, added that as most British women can expect to live for 30 years or more beyond menopause, the consequences for immediate and longer term healthcare and lifestyle are significant.
Research from Bupa suggests almost a million women have left their job completely because of menopausal symptoms.
Women who have taken long-term absence from work because of menopause take an average of 32 weeks to manage their symptoms.