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Make women comfortable discussing the menopause, NHS England trying to 'spin NHS out of crisis' and 'discriminatory' lack of mental health beds

A round-up of the morning’s health news headlines

Workplaces should create an environment where women can talk comfortably about the menopause, the UK’s chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has said.

The Telegraph reports Professor Davies has tasked the Faculty of Occupational Medicine with producing guidelines for employers on supporting women though the menopause.

It adds that a more open environment could cut the number of sick days taken as a result of menopause symptoms, Prof. Davies said: ‘It is inexcusable that women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms should feel unable to discuss how they are feeling at work.

NHS England chiefs have been accused of trying to ‘spin the health service out of crisis’ by raising the bar for major incidents to be declared, and delaying the publication of waiting time figures.

The Times reports that last week the NHS announced it would cut the number of weekly performance indicators it uses, removing A&E waiting times, and ambulance delays.

It will also reclassify ‘major incident’ to only apply when another organisation needs to be drafted in to support a hospital, such as in a fire, flood or disease outbreak, the new term is ‘internal significant incident’ .

And finally, the scarcity of local beds for mental health patients is indicative of the ‘discrimination at the heart of the NHS’ according to former care minister Norman Lamb.

The Guardian reports that Lamb, who served in the previous coalition government, blasted statistics that show 2,000 people a month with mental health illnesses in England are being sent miles from home for treatment.

Health and Social Care Information Centre figures show 500 patients end up as inpatients more than 30 miles from home, despite the distress and increased risk of suicide that can be caused by such a move.

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