NHS England has revealed its plans to improve mental health care for pregnant women and new mothers across the country.
Twenty areas in England will receive funding from NHS England to deliver more support to pregnant women and new mothers with severe mental health issues.
NHS England is spending £40 million for more mental health care professionals, which aims to serve another 30,000 women every year by 2021.
Currently, more than half of maternity care units only provide a basic mental health care service.
As a result of the funding, mental health care professionals will be able to provide specialist care at home or in maternity units, giving advice on medication and counselling.
Telephone support will also be funded, offering support from other women who have experienced similar issues.
Research by the NCT suggested that just 3% of NHS local commissioning groups have a perinatal mental health strategy.
NCT Senior Policy Advisor, Elizabeth Duff, said: “Families who have been devastated by a new mother’s mental illness will be heartened by the news that more support is going to be available. NCT commends this positive plan.”
As well as revealing plans to improve mental health care, NHS England also said that anyone who goes to A&E with a mental health issue will be seen a specialist within the first hour of being referred.
Speaking to the BBC, UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, said: “Patients in crisis and expectant and new mothers who are suffering from severe mental health problems need urgent support and care.
“So the investment is fantastic news and will help make sure patients get the care they need, when they need it.”
Another £20 million from NHS England is expected to be shared out in 2017.
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