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How NHS is letting down menopausal women

Mental health services are letting down women by failing to account for the impact of the menopause, patient safety investigators have found.

Women are frequently prescribed antidepressants when hormone replacement therapy (HRT) would more appropriate, they said.

The report noted that midlife is a point when mental health can deteriorate, leading to an increased risk of suicide.

Plus, women can be at increased risk of developing schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders at or around the menopause.

The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report further warned that too many people are taking their own lives while being deemed as at low or moderate risk of suicide.

Despite national guidance telling staff not to rank people as being at low, medium or high risk, too many NHS trusts still use the system, leaving people without the right care, investigators concluded.

The report detailed the case of Ms Wellburn, from York, who was in contact with local mental health services between 2019 and 2020.

In a foreword to the study, her sister described her as a ‘kind, thoughtful, resourceful, funny and caring’ woman who ‘was loved and valued by her family, friends and the people she worked with’.

Source of data and images: dailymail

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