Today I responded on behalf of the Labour Party to Carolyn Harris’s Menopause (Support and Services) Bill. This Bill aimed to make the Government develop a strategy for menopause support and services, including improving education around the menopause, and exempt hormone replacement therapy (HRT) from NHS prescription charges.
There are currently around 13 million women in the UK who are either perimenopausal, or post-menopausal. That is almost a fifth of the entire population, and 90% of women will face some form of menopausal symptoms in their lifetime.
The menopause can affect every part of a women’s life – of the 4.3 million women aged 50-64 who are currently in work, a quarter are considering quitting or reducing their hours, because they are struggling with symptoms of the menopause. Symptoms don’t just last for a few months; they can last for years, and even decades.
I was proud to support Carolyn’s brilliant campaign. Thanks to her excellent work, the Government have agreed to cut the cost of HRT, so instead of having to pay for a prescription monthly, they will only pay once annually. This will save women over £200 a year.