MEDICAL experts believe South Tynesiders could hold the key to tackling a condition which affects 80,000 women nationwide.
The borough has the lowest surgery rates in the region for heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB).
The annual rate of surgery in England was 152 per 100,000 between April 2006 and December 2009. South Tyneside’s rate was almost half, at 80 per 100,000.
Stephen Orife, consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician with South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: “HMB is a very common condition which causes many women significant inconvenience and social disruption.
“Yet, despite affecting tens of thousands of women each year, there is very little information about how women feel about their condition and how they are treated, so we are delighted to be taking part in the national audit which should help to improve patient care.
“There have been substantial changes in the management of HMB over the last 10 years.”
The trust is taking part in a four-year national HMB audit, which began in 2010 to assess women’s experience of care in NHS outpatient clinics.
Mr Orife said: “Already, the audit has shown that there is a variation in surgical rates throughout the country, which indicates that the guidelines for treatment are not being consistently followed.
“However, the most recent figures show that the surgical rates in the borough are significantly lower than expected on the basis of the national average, which demonstrates the commitment of the gynaecologists at South Tyneside District Hospital to work to best-practice and evidence-based guidelines.”