FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I book a clinic appointment?
Please use the on-line booking facility, which you can also access from the menu above. Once you've read through the information, click the 'BOOK NOW' button at the bottom of the page.
What happens once I have booked an appointment?
Once you have booked your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email from 'WriteUpp' (the booking system). If you don't receive this email, please check your spam folder. You will receive a further email providing information ahead of your appointment (including information about the questionnaires you need to complete), usually within two working days.
Can I book a telephone consultation?
At the moment, all first consultations are face-to-face. Telephone consultations are available for follow-up assessments, if clinically appropriate. Please use the contact form if you wish to book a telephone consultation.
What if I can't find a suitable date for my appointment?
Dr Wilkinson has various commitments throughout the working week and is generally unavailable on days other than shown in the booking system.
What will happen during my first consultation?
This is outlined on the Service I Provide page.
How long is each appointment and how much does it cost?
A first consultation lasts approximately 60 minutes and costs £235, and a follow-up appointment last around 30 minutes and costs £140. Please see the full details of costs, including packages and additional services.
What if I need to rearrange or cancel my appointment?
If you need to cancel or rearrange your appointment, then please contact Menopause Wellbeing as soon as possible (email/phone). Please be aware a cancellation fee may apply if it's within 24 hours of your appointment. Menopause Wellbeing reserves the right to cancel appointments due to unforeseen circumstances.
What is WriteUpp?
WriteUpp is a secure, cloud-based medical notes system. It is GDPR compliant, which means your information is kept absolutely safe. Any emails containing personal information will be sent to you will be via WriteUpp. In addition, Menopause Wellbeing uses Writeupp's secure on-line booking system. See www.WriteUpp.com for more information.
Do I need a referral letter from my GP to be seen in the Menopause Wellbeing clinic?
No, you can make an appointment directly without a referral letter. During your first consultation, you will be asked about previous medical conditions and operations during your appointment. You may consider asking your General Practice administrator to provide you with a brief summary of your medical records including medication and any recent blood test results which would be most helpful if brought on the day.
Do I need any medical information from my GP?
It is not essential that you have medical information available, as you can provide your medical history. You may consider asking your General Practice administrator to provide you with a brief summary of your medical records including medication and any recent blood test results which would be most helpful if brought on the day.
In addition, you will be asked to complete pre-appointment forms and email these to Dr Wilkinson in advance of your consultation. The information will be uploaded to a secure, cloud-based medical notes system (Write-Upp) and the email subsequently deleted. If you prefer, you can print the forms, complete and bring with you on the day.
Completion of the forms in advance ensures that you make best use of your time with Dr Wilkinson on the day, leaving more time for discussion and care planning. Failure to provide information via the pre-appointment forms may result in a less thorough assessment and is therefore not recommended.
Do I need blood tests to diagnose the menopause?
For most women, blood tests are not required to diagnose the menopause. Diagnosis should be possible based on age, symptom profile and clinical examination.
National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidance on Menopause: diagnosis and management (2015) advises that perimenopause and menopause diagnosis should not rely on blood tests in ‘otherwise healthy women aged over 45 years with menopausal symptoms’.
The Guidance also suggests that blood tests may be considered:
• in women aged 40 to 45 years with menopausal symptoms, including a change in their menstrual cycle
• in women aged under 40 years in whom menopause is suspected
Hormone levels in women around the menopause transition can vary significantly from day to day and therefore, blood tests can be misleading.
Blood tests are occasionally required to rule out other conditions, such as thyroid disease and are sometimes recommended in order to provide individualized advice regarding lifestyle measures (for example lipid profile). In addition, If testosterone therapy is being considered, estrogen levels and a free-androgen index are required as part of this assessment.
General Practitioners are usually most helpful in arranging blood tests, upon request. On some occasions however, blood or urine samples may be requested privately.
Please discuss with Dr Wilkinson.
How do I access treatment after being seen in the Menopause Wellbeing clinic?
Your Personalised Care Plan will be designed together during your consultation via shared-decision-making. This Plan will then be finalised and sent to you via email, usually within 7 working days.
Treatment recommendations may be included in your Plan. Dr Wilkinson will discuss how you would like to access this treatment. The options include:
• a letter for you to take to your General Practitioner, requesting an NHS prescription;
• an interim private prescription (usually for 1-3 months’ treatment) available for a small additional fee, allowing you time to book an appointment with your GP or Practice Nurse to discuss your Care Plan and seek on-going NHS prescriptions, as appropriate;
• a private prescription from Dr Wilkinson which can be repeated, as clinically appropriate, at a 3 month review in the Menopause Wellbeing clinic;
*In some areas of the U.K., some products are not available on NHS prescription and a private prescription may be necessary if these products are your preferred option following consultation.
How much does a private prescription cost?
The fee for a private prescription is £30. You will need to take your prescription to a pharmacy where you may be charged a small dispensing fee together with the cost of the medication itself. A postal dispensing service is available via request at St. Hilary’s Pharmacy, Wallasey, Merseyside. Please contact pharmacist Stuart Cubbin to discuss.
Do you prescribe ‘bio-identical’ hormones?
The most common estrogen prescribed currently as HRT is 17ӄ-estradiol which is molecularly or ‘body’ identical to one of the three estrogen forms that exist in women, naturally, which are estradiol, estrone and estriol.
17ӄ-estradiol is extracted from natural sources such as soybeans and yams and formulated into a HRT preparation. There has been some confusion regarding the terms ‘body-identical’ and ‘bio-identical’ with the latter generally referring to unlicensed, unregulated products that are custom-compounded. At Menopause Wellbeing, I prescribe regulated, licensed products in accordance with safe, evidence-based prescribing which is however ‘natural’ as detailed above.
If you have a womb in place then estrogens must be combined with a progestogen (the name given to a synthetic progesterone) or a more ‘natural’ form which is called ‘micronised progesterone’. Micronised progesterone is ‘body-identical’ as it has the same molecular structure as the progesterone in our bodies as women.
HRT should also be individualized to your specific needs and wishes.
Will my medical insurance cover a Menopause Wellbeing appointment?
Menopause care is not usually covered by medical insurance as they deem it to be a normal physiological process. However, if symptoms are acute and severe, it may be worth checking with your insurance provider who may cover your initial assessment and treatment. Please check before booking your appointment.
What special qualifications do you have to treat menopause problems?
Having gained the Faculty of Reproductive Healthcare Special Skills Certificate in Menopause Care (Advanced) I have extensively studied menopause and am qualified to take formal referrals in this field.
In addition, I have worked as a General Practitioner for 20 years and have extensive experience of women’s health care, in addition to having worked in Contraception & Sexual Health clinics for many years.
Is the service insured?
My medical practice is fully covered by the Medical Protection Society.