A must-read blog: could GPs face litigation if they don’t offer appropriate treatment for menopause?

Doctors could increasingly find themselves facing potential litigation if they do not offer “appropriate treatment as set out in the NICE Guidelines”,  and also provide their patient with informed consent, according to a clinical negligence lawyer.

Solicitor Suzanne White, is head of the clinical negligence team at international lawyers Leigh Day.  In a blog post on the firm’s website, she welcomes the fact that women are starting to talk about the menopause after years of silence on the subject.

She says: “Until recently menopause and its potential impact on women’s lives has not been a topic for discussion. Many women are not aware of the symptoms that are caused by the menopause; the need for more awareness is key so that women can ask for the help they need to manage and improve symptoms, but also be aware of the potential benefits of treatment such as HRT which reduces osteoporosis and diabetes. ”

“…Menopause experts despair of the approach taken by some doctors and GPs to the menopause and prescribing HRT as an option. I am told by the experts that GPs are reluctant to prescribe HRT in some instances, often diagnosing menopausal symptoms as depression and prescribing anti-depressants.”

In the article she explains the guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – which doctors should use, and discusses the landmark Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board 2015, which marked a change on clinical consent.

“Could there be claims for the failure to firstly appropriately diagnose menopause but also offer all reasonable options to women to treat their menopause symptoms?  I think that GP’s could increasingly find themselves facing potential litigation if they are not offering appropriate treatment as set out in the NICE Guidelines, and also providing their patient with informed consent as set out in Montgomery.”

The full blog article can be seen on the Leigh Day website.