Improving mental health services for new and expectant mums

New and expectant mums across the Humber, Coast and Vale area will be provided with specialist mental health services for the first time after the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) won a share of a £23 million grant.

Specialist community perinatal mental health services will be introduced in North and North-East Lincolnshire and York and Scarborough later this year under NHS England’s plans to ensure another 30,000 women can access care close to home by 2021.

The money will also be used to expand existing high-quality services in Hull and East Riding.

Michele Moran, Chair of the Partnership’s Mental Health Delivery Board, said: “New and expectant mothers throughout Humber, Coast and Vale will benefit from this very welcome investment in high-quality care.

“With one in five of them due to experience a mental health problem during their pregnancy and in the first year of birth, the money will ensure we are able to provide them with specialist treatment close to their homes.

“It will also help us ensure that successful treatments for mental illness continue to become a part of overall healthcare at the earliest possible stage in life.”

Specialist community perinatal mental health teams consist of experts including doctors, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists.

They offer psychiatric and psychological assessments and care for women with complex or severe mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, and also provide pre-conception advice for women with existing or a history of severe mental illness.

The funding will be channelled through North-East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which submitted the funding bid on the STP’s behalf.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust will work with fellow STP members including Navigo and Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust to introduce the services in North and North-East Lincolnshire.

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust will also work with STP colleagues such as NHS Hull and NHS East Riding CCGs to expand its existing services in Hull and East Riding.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust will work with STP partners including NHS Vale of York and NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCGs to introduce the services to the York and Scarborough areas.

Dr Louise Barker, Clinical Lead for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Services at NHS Vale of York CCG, said: “We are delighted that our bid for funding for this new service has been successful. The money will allow us to develop perinatal mental health services and build capacity to deliver new models of care that are closely integrated with specialist community mental health teams.

“We will be able to contribute towards the national priority of achieving equitable access to high quality, specialist perinatal mental health community care for women, their babies and families and work collaboratively with our partners to deliver a wide range of interventions and care packages.”

The new money is part of £365 million plans to transform specialist perinatal services.

NHS England’s latest investment has been announced two years after it awarded £40 million to 20 sites to develop new, or expand current, specialist community perinatal services.

Stephen STP

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