MP backs Jinty's menopause clinic campaign
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I hold regular surgeries in East Devon and it’s a great way to help people and hear a wide range of concerns. One such issue raised with me recently was access to support for women going through menopause.
It is an issue that many of us have ducked talking about for too long, even though menopause symptoms can be severe and affect everyday life.
Devon’s health bosses recently told me women should first try their GP to determine whether there’s a need for referral to the hospital. Unfortunately, this can be problematic. GPs have a high workload and I understand some training needs to be updated.
More GP training will help, alongside relaxing access to treatments. Health watchdog the MHRA is looking at proposals to make HRT product Gina 10 available without a prescription.
But menopause specialists – instead of getting women to do their own diagnoses – would be a real step forward. That’s why Exmouth resident Jinty Sheerin has launched a timely campaign for a dedicated menopause clinic in Devon.
She’s been speaking with residents to hear their experiences. Women in East Devon currently face a 120-mile round trip to get to the nearest clinic. The nearest ones are in Bristol, Bath, Poole, and Salisbury. It isn’t good enough!
At Prime Minister’s Questions last week, I backed Jinty’s campaign. I told the Commons that we need to improve access to menopause services in Devon. In response, the Prime Minister said that menopause is a priority in the women’s health strategy and the government is establishing a UK-wide menopause task force.
I have already been invited to discuss the task force with ministers. It’s an encouraging step forward. To keep up momentum, I understand Jinty will run a petition and I urge you to sign this to show your support.
The conversations we have about menopause are important to get rid of stigma and taboos. All schools now teach pupils about it as part of their health education classes. I can’t remember learning or talking about it when I was at school!
If you would like to contact Jinty directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org