Today (Monday 11 January 2016) David Cameron will pledge to put an end to the postcode lottery which sees three quarters of the 40,000 women who currently suffer from maternal mental illnesses, including postnatal depression, are not getting the support they need.
Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, told The Guardian: “At the moment about 40,000 women who are pregnant or within the first year of having their baby have a severe mental health problem. But of those 40,000, only about 10,000 are at the moment getting access to specialist perinatal mental health services.
Three out of four are missing out. But by the end of the decade we are going to make that a universal offer, so all 40,000 will get access to a local specialist team.”
David Cameron announced that the NHS will put £290 million into creating perinatal mental health teams and more beds in maternity units across communities.
Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement, Janet Fyle professional policy advisor at The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “Today’s announcement is most welcome indeed. We are pleased that the government has focused this funding on maternal mental health.
“The RCM believes that every Trust with maternity services should have a specialist maternal mental health midwife in post to work with community specialist teams to implement appropriate care pathways for women with pregnancy related mental health problems.”
According to a study by the Royal College of Nursing 41% of 2,000 women and men suffered some form of mental illness during pregnancy or after the birth of their first child.
11% of respondents from the same study said they did not know that support was available.
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