Community specialist perinatal mental health teams
We call for community specialist perinatal mental health teams meeting national quality standards to be available for women in every area of the UK. As our map shows, these services are not available for all new mothers in the UK. Many areas do not even have local plans in place to develop these services. This is despite comprehensive models showing that these specialist services are both necessary and possible.
Not having access to a specialist team, or if a service falls short of nationally agreed standards, can mean the lives and life chances of women and their babies and families are put at unnecessary risk. See our Counting the costs section.
To end this unacceptable postcode lottery, community specialist perinatal mental health services must be available throughout the UK and meet nationally agreed standards.
UK Specialist Community Perinatal Mental Health Teams
Please note, levels of provision in this map have been assessed using the best information available to us from local experts but have not been independently verified. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you suspect any inaccuracy or know of recent developments that may alter the level of provision level in any area listed here.
no specialist team exists.
Some extremely basic level of provision exists but currently falls short of national standards and needs expanding.
Some basic level of provision exists but currently falls short of national standards and needs expanding.
Women and families can access treatment that meets nationally agreed standards.
The role of specialist community perinatal mental health teams
Specialist community perinatal mental health teams care for women with serious mental illnesses and complex disorders. Teams that meet nationally agreed standards are members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Quality Network.
The role of a specialist community perinatal mental health team is to:
- respond to a woman’s needs in a timely manner, have the capacity to deal with crises and emergencies, and make assessments in a variety of settings, including homes, maternity hospitals and outpatient clinics
- have close working links with a designated mother and baby unit
- care for women discharged from inpatient mother and baby units
- work collaboratively with colleagues in maternity services, including providing a maternity liaison service
- work collaboratively with adult mental health services to provide support to women with previous or longstanding mental health problems
- offer pre-conception counselling to women with pre-existing mental health problems.