New and expectant mums are going to get improved mental health services, thanks to £350,000 in new funding into the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP).
Perinatal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child and affects up to 20 per cent of women. It covers a wide range of conditions and if left untreated can have significant and long-lasting effects on the woman and her family.
They can also have long-standing effects on children’s emotional, social and cognitive development.
In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, there will be:
- Greater access to psychological therapies and interventions
- Specialist Perinatal Occupational therapists
- Community Nursery Nurses to offer work related to maternal bonding
This will enhance the existing service In Worcestershire and start-up a new service in Herefordshire, making the care across both counties available in the right place and the right time, providing advice to maternity, mental health and community services.
Dr Barnaby Major, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director for 2gether NHS Foundation Trust in Herefordshire, said: “Improving support for pregnant women, new mothers and their partners is a key priority.
"We know that perinatal mental health issues have a huge impact on mothers, their babies and their wider families and networks. The impact is felt not only in the perinatal period, but for years to come.
"This investment is a significant step towards improving equal access to specialist mental health care and will improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Herefordshire.”
Kathryn Hankins, service lead for adult mental health specialist services at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in obtaining these additional national funds to enhance our existing perinatal service to the women and families of Worcestershire.
"Our team will now be able to offer additional psychological therapy, occupational therapy and nursery nurse support. Importantly we will now also be able to offer the input of a peer support worker who has a real lived experience of these sorts of issues who can support mums at a time of vulnerability.
"We are really looking forward to working with more women across Worcestershire, particularly those in rural or harder to reach communities.”
Dr Ian Tait, Chair and Clinical Lead for NHS Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "Providing the right care in the right place and at the right time is the priority of everyone in the NHS.
"The targeted funding means we can do exactly that, putting the support which new and expecting mums need, where they can access it, when they need it.
"This is also a great example of how organisations are coming together across both Herefordshire and Worcestershire to benefit people across both counties."
For more information about our current Perinatal service visit: http://www.hacw.nhs.uk/our-services/perinatal-psychiatry/