NHS ENGLAND today sets out plans to provide more support for pregnant women and new mums suffering mental illness as well as to improve care for the many people with mental health problems attending A&E in crisis.
Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England will tell the Mind conference on Tuesday that £40m is to be allocated to 20 areas of the country to fund new specialist community mental health services for mums in the immediate run up to and after birth, and help reach 30,000 more women a year by 2021. A further £20m will be allocated next year.
The funding for new mums will see new or bigger teams in those areas providing specialist care for all new and expectant mums with severe mental ill health like severe post-natal depression.
It will fund new perinatal consultants, specialist nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and nursery nurses as well as community peer support for mums, babies and families. There will also be more buddying and telephone support where mums who have had experience of similar issues help other mums in need.
While we are pleased to see that pregnancy and mental health issues are being increasingly recognised and connected, we continue to be disappointed with government measures continuing to focus only on later pregnancy. We call for the government to recognise that there is a huge potential mental health impact in early pregnancy loss which should equally be recognised and supported by the NHS.