NHS opening 26 mental health hubs to support new and bereaved mothers

First centres are set to open in months, NHS says

Matt Mathers@MattEm90
Tuesday 06 April 2021 09:47
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<p>Maternity services, reproductive health, psychological therapy and treatment for a wide range of mental health issues will be offered at sites</p>

Maternity services, reproductive health, psychological therapy and treatment for a wide range of mental health issues will be offered at sites

Thousands of mothers are set to benefit from new mental hubs being set up across England under NHS plans to improve maternal care.

NHS leaders said 26 centres will be up-and-running by the end of 2021-22 and will provide services to new, expectant and bereaved mothers.

Maternity services, reproductive health, psychological therapy and treatment for a wide range of mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after giving birth are to be brought under one roof.

NHS England said that 10 sites are expected to open within months while the rest will open by April next year.

Those scheduled to open first are in:

  • Birmingham & Solihull
  • Leicestershire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Shropshire Telford & Wrekin
  • South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw
  • Lancashire and South Cumbria
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • Kent and Medway
  • Cornwall
  • Devon

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Claire Murdoch, NHS England's national mental health director, said: "Every woman has a unique experience with pregnancy and motherhood and some will need extra support to cope with mental health issues that can range from anxiety to severe depression so I am delighted that mothers across all areas of the country will be able to access this help if they need it.

"The NHS is here for everyone who needs help and the expansion of specialist care through the rollout of these maternal mental health services will strengthen the services already in place, enabling us to improve the quality of care and outcomes for many women.

"I would encourage any mum who needs this support to come forward safe in the knowledge that her mental health and wellbeing are of paramount importance and she should not feel ashamed of accessing the help she needs."

As well as offering psychological therapies for new and expectant mothers the clinics will also provide training for maternity staff and midwives, NHS England said.

By the end of 2021-22 around 6,000 women will receive care and treatment for a wide range of mental health issues from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after giving birth to others with a severe fear of childbirth, it added.

Every area will have one by April 2024 as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to increase access to psychological support for women before, during and after pregnancy, it added.

Dr Giles Berrisford, NHS England's national speciality advisor for perinatal mental health, said that around a quarter of women experience mental health problems in pregnancy and during the 24 months after giving birth.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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