Perinatal Mental Health

We are pleased to announce that we will be providing a specialist community perinatal service for women in Lancashire and South Cumbria. The service will support both expecting and new mums who are experiencing mental health problem during the perinatal period.

The brand new service will open later this year and will offer psychiatric and psychological assessments and care for women with complex or severe mental health problems during pregnancy up to one year after giving birth. The service will also provide pre-conception advice for women with a current or past severe mental illness who are planning a pregnancy. The Trust is one of 35 new sites across the country to have been awarded funding, as part of a drive by NHS England to enable access to specialist perinatal mental health community services across the country by April next year.

Dr Gillian Strachan, Consultant Psychiatrist at Lancashire Care and Clinical Lead for the perinatal mental health North West Coast Strategic Clinical Network, said:

"This additional £1.3 million investment for specialist community perinatal mental health services will mean that women across Lancashire and South Cumbria will be able to access high quality services when and where they need it.

“We are determined to work in partnership across the region to make sure that women and babies are given the best start in life and this is a positive step towards that. It’s a much needed addition to the investment in the Cumbria and Lancashire mother and baby unit.”

The team will be made up of a variety of different health professionals including psychiatrists, specialist nurses, psychologists, psychotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and dedicated administrators who will work together to provide a comprehensive service to mums and their infants, depending on their individual needs. The team will also work closely with the Trust’s Perinatal Mother and Baby Unit and existing services such as maternity services, health visiting, and existing mental health teams as well as the mother and baby unit outreach service to ensure that there is continuity of care for mums and their families.

The following pictures are concept designs for the unit. You can contact us on communications@lancashirecare.nhs.uk to let us know what you think. We will be posting regular updates on this page about the progress of our plans and how you can be involved, so please bookmark the page and keep checking in.


We have also set up a closed Facebook group where you can share your experiences and where we can encourage discussions about our plans for the unit. If you would like to join the group, please email your details to communications@lancashirecare.nhs.uk

If you are looking for information or support concerning maternal mental health, and particularly in relation to postpartum psychosis, we are working closely with the organisation Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP). APP’s online forum contains a wealth of discussion topics and gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn from others’ experiences of postpartum psychosis.

APP’s website is www.app-network.org where you can read their Insider Guides and other news and information which you might find helpful.

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Other sources of help and information include:

The Baby Buddy App

The Vroom App

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance

Reaching Out, a resource for dads

Royal College of General Practitioners’ perinatal mental health toolkit, for primary care teams
 

 

See also: