NHS England has confirmed that new and expectant mums will be able to access specialist perinatal mental health community services in every part of the country by April next year.
In Lancashire and South Cumbria this will include a community specialist team in addition to an eight bedded Lancashire and Cumbria mother and baby unit in Chorley which will be available to patients later this year.
The health service is now spending £23 million rolling out the second wave of community perinatal services to underserved parts of the country and is on course to achieve full geographical coverage. Up until now, there have been no specialist perinatal mental health services in Lancashire and South Cumbria.
This funding forms part of a package of measures, worth a total of £365m by 2021, to transform specialist perinatal mental health services nationally .The aim is that at least 30,000 additional women will be able to access treatment that is closer to home and when they need it, through specialist community services and inpatient mother and baby units. Dr Gillian Strachan, Clinical Lead for the perinatal mental health North West Coast Strategic Clinical Network, said: “This additional £1.3 million pound investment for specialist community perinatal mental health services will mean that women across Lancashire and South Cumbria will be able to access high quality services when and where they need it. “
One in five women will experience a mental health problem during their pregnancy and in the first year after birth, with depression and anxiety disorders being the most common.