Menopause support launched for women in custody | Our latest updates

Menopause support launched for women in custody

Lady interviewed anonymous

Women who find themselves in police custody, who may be experiencing symptoms of menopause, are to be offered support as part of a new initiative.

‘Menopause Care in Custody’ is an innovative new partnership launched by Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) and Police custody in Northamptonshire to improve support for females who have been arrested and detained in Police custody.

The menopause is a natural, biological process; however, society is still trying to understand the symptoms and impact of those symptoms on an individual and how agencies should respond to support them better.

To help address this, NHFT have created a menopause pathway identifying all women entering custody, aged 40 and over, who will be asked at the point of being booked into custody if they would like to speak to someone from healthcare regarding perimenopause, menopause or post-menopause symptoms. If the individual accepts this offer, they will then see a member of staff from the custody healthcare team and supported by NHFT’s Liaison and Diversion service. A healthcare professional will then discuss their individual needs and a care plan produced for their time in police custody.

Anthony Begley, Service Manager, Criminal Justice Pathway, NHFT, said: “This is a great piece of partnership work recognising the impact of menopause for those individuals and its impact whilst in Police custody. Many individuals experience the symptoms of menopause brain fog, linked to the natural drop in oestrogen that occurs during perimenopause. It’s important factors like this, which must be considered under PACE [Police and Criminal Evidence] interview and what adaptations can support them including appropriate adult provision [someone who will provide support if an individual is arrested or questioned by the police] and legal advice. It is critically important that vulnerable adults have support during interviews to safeguard their rights and interests.”

Anyone who has their liberty removed, and becomes reliant on the state for their basic needs and care, is considered vulnerable. In a police custody context, individuals must be able to engage fully with the criminal justice process and feel safe psychologically, emotionally, and physically. Police officers and staff ensure those detained are treated respectfully and with dignity during their detention. By ensuring a safe space, and the appropriate support, it is more likely those vulnerable individuals will feel they can disclose confidential information – for example, relating to their health, hygiene or welfare – or any situation or condition that makes them vulnerable.

Steve Chatburn, Custody Inspector, said: “People in our custody deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and so I welcome this move to ensure that those going through the menopause are provided with the right support when they’re in our care. We will continue working with our partners to look at new ways we can keep people safe and provide them with the right help when they find themselves arrested for an offence.”

Anthony Begley added: “I am proud we have a dedicated team of health care professionals delivering effective care planning throughout the duration they are in custody, as well as signposting to support upon release if needed It is hoped that the combination of training and developing resources will not only raise awareness but also start to prevent any ill-treatment of those deprived of their liberty who are going through this natural hormonal change.”

Find out more about NHFT’s Liaison and Diversion service at


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