Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded The Menopause Friendly Accreditation. Uniting a team of over 8,000 people, CNWL offers more than 300 services providing integrated healthcare to a third of London’s population, Milton Keynes and beyond.
The Menopause Friendly Accreditation established by Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace, recognises high standards and proven practices that embrace menopause in the workplace.
In order to achieve accreditation, employers are assessed by an independent panel and must demonstrate evidence of their effectiveness in six areas: culture, policies and practices, training, engagement, facilities and evaluation.
We are proud of this success, seeing it as an important commitment to every single person in our Trust with menopause education as part of our aim to build a more inclusive culture.
Laura Knight and Rebecca Dunkerley, Co-Chairs of CNWL’s Women’s Staff Network said:
“We’re really proud of this work highlighted by our staff and given a voice initially through the Women’s Network and 50plus groups. It’s often hard to talk about health and wellbeing issues at work, and we’ve heard in our forums the relief of having spaces to recognise this issue.
“It’s so important to not just talk, but to have permission, structures and education to move forward that this accreditation give us as at CNWL. Making it clear that we value all our staff throughout their careers at CNWL.”
Nick Green, Chief People Officer at CNWL said:
“The Menopause Friendly Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to supporting our staff’s health and wellbeing. Being a menopause friendly employer aligns with our Trust values, our ‘Wellbeing for Life’ vision and our NHS People Promise.
“We want our staff to be able to bring their whole self to work but realised that speaking openly about perimenopause and menopause had been far too infrequent.
“National workplace statistics show that many women were struggling on their own and were leaving jobs, reducing their hours or forgoing opportunities for promotion. If this is happening nationally it is likely to be happening at CNWL and we wanted to support our staff and be truly inclusive.”
There are three key areas that have generated the most impact in terms of both support and engagement, namely:
- Introducing an internal menopause resource page for staff and managers
- Implementing a Peer Support Group for staff
- Occupational Health monitoring of menopause related referrals
“We found that our staff were keen to speak up, share their lived experiences, engage fully and express what improvements and support they would like to see in their workplace. In addition, our menopause staff survey highlighted areas of strength and weakness, allowing us to bring about positive improvements across all levels of our organisation.”
Deborah Garlick, CEO of Henpicked: Menopause in the Workplace said:
“I’m greatly encouraged to hear CNWL talk about the importance of having a culture where employees can speak openly and share their experiences as this is a vitally important aspect of being menopause friendly. It is patently clear that the staff at CNWL feel supported, cared for and valued, knowing their concerns will be listened to, understood and acted upon.
Offering advice to other NHS trusts and employers looking to be menopause friendly, Nick says:
“Be sure to listen to the needs of your staff and never underestimate the benefits of collaboration. Through collaboration, we have worked hard at listening to and communicating with everyone to ensure true diversity and inclusivity and achieve goals set by our staff.”