Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has today (26 October) launched a campaign to recruit staff to run a new service providing vital support for mothers with severe mental health conditions.
The Trust is aiming to attract an operational manager, perinatal psychiatrists, a psychologist, parent-infant therapist, specialist mental health nurses, nursery nurses, occupational therapists and social worker to fill a total of around 15 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 and will be called the Perinatal Outreach Team, but will transfer to the Trust’s new Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) once construction work is complete in early 2019.
NSFT is using a range of methods to advertise the jobs, including an advert which tells the story of new parents Anna and Spencer to help promote the new roles and inspire potential new recruits to apply.
Andy Goff, 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 begin recruiting 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 earlier this autumn to develop the specialist inpatient unit, with work to renovate Kingfisher House, at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich, now 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 comes in addition to the £2.8m in additional revenue funding which NSFT will receive annually to deliver the new service.
The new unit will complement NSFT’s new Community Perinatal Mental Health Team, which officially launched in September. The service cares for pregnant women and new mothers with serious mental health difficulties, as well as providing support for the rest of the family.
The positions will be advertised on www.jobs.nsft.nhs.uk and via Twitter. For more information, visit www.nsft.uk/MBU
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