NHS is to set up special units to help treat mothers who are plagued by the trauma of PTSD
- There will be 26 specialist mental health hubs to support mothers suffering PTSD
- First 10 hubs will be open within months while the rest will be open by April 2022
- Experts said one in four women had mental health problems around pregnancy
- Health bosses say the aim is to have specialist centre in every NHS area by 2024
Specialist mental health hubs are being set up to help new, expectant and bereaved mothers suffering from PTSD and other conditions.
The 26 NHS centres will bring together maternity services, reproductive health and psychological therapy under one roof.
The first ten will open within months while the rest will open by April next year. The aim is for every NHS area to have one by April 2024.
Specialist mental health hubs are being set up to help new, expectant and bereaved mothers suffering from PTSD and other conditions with 26 centres set to opened by April next year
Dr Giles Berrisford, an NHS England perinatal expert, said one in four women had mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder around pregnancy.
He added: ‘These maternal mental health services will provide vital support, meeting the specific needs of these women.
‘Their establishment will significantly contribute to the overall commitment of the NHS to enable at least 66,000 women with moderate to severe mental health difficulties related to motherhood to access specialist care by 2023-24.’
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.’
Experts say one in four women had mental health problems such as PTSD around pregnancy
Jude Diggins of the Royal College of Nursing warned that the new services would require highly-skilled staff when the NHS was already ‘dealing with widespread shortages and vacancies’.
She said: ‘Having a baby is a life-changing experience and no one should have to go through this without the help and support they need.
‘Sadly, this pandemic has placed even more strain on existing perinatal mental health services as isolation, loneliness and other factors take hold.
‘The challenge for these new, more integrated, services will be, as before the pandemic, ensuring there are enough highly-skilled, mental health nursing staff to safely and effectively care for patients when our health and care services are already dealing with widespread shortages and vacancies.’
The clinics will also provide training for maternity staff and midwives.