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Specialist training for NSFT's newest staff

​Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) newest staff have taken part in a whole team induction to help them bond so that they can provide effective care for mothers with severe mental health conditions when a brand-new unit opens next year.

A 30-strong team of clinical and support staff, who will together run the Kingfisher Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) at Hellesdon Hospital in Norwich, have taken part in a tailored induction to prepare them for the arrival of their first inpatients in late January.

As well as hearing more about how the MBU will work alongside NSFT’s existing services for new mothers, the team role-played various perinatal scenarios so that they could practice using the unit’s equipment, before completing some specialist training.

They also spent time getting to know each other before touring the new unit, which will be the first at the Trust to work with babies.

Dawn Collins, NSFT's Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Safety, said: “We are delighted to welcome this new team and look forward to working closely with them to deliver high quality care to new mothers with severe mental health difficulties.

“We have invested in providing them with specialist training due to the nature of the work they will be doing. Staff have also visited other MBUs across the country so that they can learn from others and bring back best practice to benefit new mums here in Norfolk.

“The team will provide a vital service offering potentially life-changing care to new mothers with serious mental health problems, while also ensuring they can receive the psychiatric support they need without having to travel further away from home.”

The 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.

The team 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, they are working within the community as the Trust’s Perinatal Outreach Team, but will transfer to the eight-bedded MBU once construction work is complete in January.

Caption: A two-day induction for MBU staff took place at Hellesdon Hospital on Thursday and Friday of last week.

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