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Opportunity to find out more about working for vital new service
07/06/2018

​The first of two open awareness sessions for people who might be interested in working for a vital new service will be held at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich this Saturday (9 June).

People who attend the event in the hospital's Main Hall between 10am and 12pm will learn more about the roles available in the service to support mothers with severe mental health conditions.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) will hold a second awareness session at the same venue on Tuesday, 12 June, 6pm-8pm.

The Trust is aiming to attract a perinatal psychiatrist, a specialty doctor, ward manager, clinical support worker, assistant practitioners, specialist mental health nurses, nursery nurses, occupational therapist, social worker, outreach worker and a clinical psychologist to fill a total of around 34 whole time equivalent positions.

They will offer intensive support to new mothers with mental health conditions such as severe postnatal depression, serious anxiety disorders and postpartum psychosis, which causes hallucinations and can severely disrupt perception and behaviour.

Initially the team will work within the community, but will transfer to the Trust's new Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) once construction work is complete in early 2019.

Rob Mack, Locality Manager with NSFT's Children's, Families and Young People's Services, said: "We are delighted that we are now in a position to be recruiting more staff to this important team as it will allow us to start delivering this vital service to vulnerable women within the community while work to create our dedicated MBU takes place.

"The team will provide potentially life-changing care to new mothers with serious mental health problems, and will mean they can receive the psychiatric support they need without having to travel elsewhere."

The Trust was awarded £4m in national funding in autumn 2017 to develop the specialist inpatient unit, and work to renovate Kingfisher House, at Hellesdon Hospital, now well underway.

Once complete, the eight-bed MBU will ensure mums and their babies from across the region can stay together while the mother receives care. It will also accept women in late pregnancy who require acute psychiatric inpatient care.

A range of therapeutic services will be available including medication, cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy, along with help with bonding and attachment. Trained peer support workers – people who have personal experience of perinatal mental ill health – will also offer support and practical help.

The bid for additional capital funding was led by NSFT, in partnership with Norfolk and Waveney's five clinical commissioning groups and working in collaboration with Norfolk and Waveney STP. It came in addition to the £2.8m in additional revenue funding which NSFT will receive annually to deliver the new MBU service.

The new unit will complement NSFT's Norfolk and Waveney Community Perinatal Mental Health Service, which launched in September last year, and which cares for pregnant women and new mothers with serious mental health difficulties in the community, as well as providing support for the rest of the family.

It will also complement the NSFT East and West Suffolk Perinatal Mental Health Clinic, launched in February 2018, which offers specific help to pregnant women with pre-existing conditions as well as those who develop mental health issues following their child's birth.

Applications for the jobs available at the unit can be submitted up to Sunday 17 June online at jobs.nsft.nhs.uk/job and via Twitter. For more information, visit www.nsft.uk/MBU 

For press enquiries, email: nsft.communications@nsft.nhs.uk