Tag Archives: NHS England

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) responds to the launch of NHS England’s long term plan

January 7th saw the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan, setting out their ambitions for health care in England, including many positive goals for perinatal mental health.

Commenting on the publication of the NHS long term plan, The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) Director Emily Slater welcomed the plan’s announcement and commitment to women and families in England, in particular the news of an increase in services to benefit more women and the extension of specialist mental health support for new parents, which will now be offered for two years after the birth of their child.

Emily Slater said:

“The Maternal Mental Health Alliance is really pleased to see that the NHS has committed to expanding perinatal mental health services and helping more women and families access vital treatment. The details of the long-term plan signals that the NHS wants to build on the success it has had creating specialist perinatal mental health services to ensure more women and families can access essential, lifesaving support.”

“Doubling the period during which women will be able to access psychiatric assessments and care after birth to two years and offering partners access to mental health services, will make a difference to women and families across England.”

“We welcome the £2.3bn set aside for mental health services, which will continue to tackle the long-established underfunding within mental health and work towards parity between physical and mental health.”

“The plan does not mention parent-infant services and how these will provide support for families, which would help deliver NHS England’s goal for all children and young people who need specialist mental health care to be able to access it, so we would welcome information on this. We would also like to see more details on what commitments the Government will make to local authorities funding, to ensure they can deliver the social care and public health services, including health visitors, that women and families need.”

Background:

The NHS long term plan, “will improve access to and the quality of perinatal mental health care for mothers, their partners and children by:

• Increasing access to evidence-based care for women with moderate to severe perinatal mental health difficulties and a personality disorder diagnosis, to benefit an additional 24,000 women per year by 2023/24, in addition to the extra 30,000 women getting specialist help by 2020/21. Care provided by specialist perinatal mental health services will be available from preconception to 24 months after birth (care is currently provided from preconception to 12 months after birth), in line with the cross-government ambition for women and children focusing on the first 1,001 critical days of a child’s life;

• Expanding access to evidence-based psychological therapies within specialist perinatal mental health services so that they also include parent-infant, couple, co-parenting and family interventions;

• Offering fathers/partners of women accessing specialist perinatal mental health services and maternity outreach clinics evidence-based assessment for their mental health and signposting to support as required. This will contribute to helping to care for the 5-10% of fathers who experience mental health difficulties during the perinatal period;

• Increasing access to evidence-based psychological support and therapy, including digital options, in a maternity setting. Maternity outreach clinics will integrate maternity, reproductive health and psychological therapy for women experiencing mental health difficulties directly arising from, or related to, the maternity experience.”

 Read the full report of the plan, including commitments to Maternity Services and Children’s and Young Peoples mental health services.

Professional bodies welcome report highlighting need for more maternal mental health experts

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) are delighted the NHS Benchmarking report on Universal Perinatal Mental Health Findings was published on Friday 14 September.

Prior to this study, information on service provision and staffing of universal perinatal mental health (PMH) services was not available at a national level.

The Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA), the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) are delighted the NHS Benchmarking report on Universal Perinatal Mental Health Findings was published on Friday 14 September.

The data collected from providers suggested that:

Capacity in universal services is very limited and does not provide the necessary broad base from which the Specialist PMH services can operate effectively and efficiently.

The provision of specialist perinatal mental health care within universal services is highly variable across England, with some areas having no, or limited, provision (obstetric & midwifery providers 61%; health visiting providers 30%).

The large gap in health visiting PMH capacity was particularly evident, with 70% of providers having no specialist provision within the service.

This report is critical because it focuses on the universal element, where the vast majority of women need to receive their care. Universal services are a crucial element of the PMH care pathway at every local level and have the potential to create great savings in relation to both human and economic costs in the short and long term.

Alain Gregoire, Chair of the MMHA, said:

“There has been excellent progress in funding specialist perinatal service provision across England, but we know that specialist services alone are not enough.  All women in pregnancy and postnatally should have equitable access to the support, prevention and treatment they need for their mental health as much as for their physical health. This report shows that investment is essential to ensure that there are sufficient, well-trained staff across universal services so that women get the care they should expect from the NHS, and our children can get the best start in life.”

Read the full statement from the MMHA, iHV, RCOG and RCM here.

Standing on the shoulders of giants


dsc_0049
By Sally Hogg, Strategic Lead, Mums and Babies in Mind

On 28th November, NHS England announced the 20 areas of the UK that will be receiving the first phase of specialist perinatal mental health development funding. This funding is to support the creation or expansion of specialist perinatal mental health community teams.

This new funding is incredibly exciting: We’ve known for a long time that, while specialist services are critically important, there are huge gaps in provision. More than 40% of areas in England have no specialist community perinatal mental health team, and those that do often fail to reach accepted standards. In this tight financial climate, additional funding will be the enabler that many keen commissioners and providers need to close the gaps in provision.

Continue reading Standing on the shoulders of giants

Six tips for the Perinatal Mental Health Development Fund

alain2

by Dr Alain Gregoire, Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Lead for Mums and Babies in Mind

Last week was an exciting week for the Mums and Babies in Mind (MABIM) team. NHS England launched a perinatal mental health community service development fund. This is the first opportunity for local services to get their hands on a slice of the £365m promised in January by David Cameron to support the development of perinatal mental health services. Continue reading Six tips for the Perinatal Mental Health Development Fund