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Specialist unit for mothers experiencing mental illness set to open in Lancashire

Posted on the 17th August 2017

Women in Cumbria and Lancashire experiencing perinatal mental health problems will be able to receive care alongside their babies as new specialist unit is set to open.

Perinatal problems are very common, affecting up to 20% of women during pregnancy or the first year after childbirth, however women in around half of the UK have no access to perinatal mental health services. As part of a long term programme of work to improve mental health services in Lancashire, NHS England has selected the Trust as a preferred provider to run one of the four mother and baby units (MBU) in the country.

The specialist unit will open in 2018 and will be located alongside the specialist inpatient service at Chorley Hospital in Central Lancashire. The unit will see eight beds which are accessible for women from and across Cumbria and Lancashire. Each unit will provide care for women experiencing severe mental health problems or who may be at high risk of becoming mentally unwell in the perinatal period, including very serious conditions such as post-partum psychosis. The units enable treatment and recovery for mothers while allowing their relationships with their babies to develop. They are staffed by multidisciplinary teams across psychiatry, nursing and nursery care.

Lisa Moorhouse, Head of Operations for Mental Health at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected to run the perinatal unit for women in and across Cumbria and Lancashire. We have been working hard to improve mental health services across the county and are proud to be playing a key part in transforming perinatal mental healthcare as part of this.

“Perinatal mental health problems are more common that you might think with up to 20% of women developing a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. By providing this specialist inpatient and community service here in Central Lancashire we will be able to deliver care closer to people’s homes when they need it in the most.”

To find out more about the improvements to mental health services in Lancashire please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/blog/Improving+Mental+Health+Services+in+Lancashire+-+Next+Phase+Agreed.